This weeks #FactFriday is looking at the Scottish Crossbill (Loxia scotica) !
The Scottish crossbill is a small passerine bird, belonging to the finch family. It is the only terrestrial vertebrate endemic to the UK and resides solely in Scottish Caledonian forests.
The Scottish crossbill manipulates pine cones with its heavy crossed bill to pull out the seeds, and builds bulky nests of twigs, heather and moss in the branches of Scots pine trees.
The species is morphologically almost identical to red and parrot crossbills and can virtually only be distinguished by its call, although even that needs to be confirmed on a sonogram. There are an estimated 6,800 breeding pairs in Scotland, however, the effects of a warming climate on this species could result in changes to the availability of their food (pine cones) and increase food scarcity. A warmer climate could also result in range expansion of other crossbill species, which may compete with the Scottish crossbill in these areas. Research into this topic is still new.