Originally Posted by BryanP
I didn't realize the name Parrot Crossbills existed till you mentioned them in your post. British Columbia has two species, the bog standard Red Crossbill and the slightly rarer White-winged Crossbill.
I was always fascinated by the similar parrot like behaviour of the Crossbills and the parrot habits I witness here in Central America. I've even seen Crossbills visiting salt/mineral licks just as parrots will do. Interesting behavioural niches.
Oh yes, the White-winged, we've heard about that in Europe recently as one has turned up in Iceland, a very smart looking male too. Interesting the salt licks behaviour - here in winter I've seen Crossbills in the middle of the roads - I assumed it was grit swallowing for their digestive system but maybe the saltiness of the anti-ice treatment on the roads is a factor too...