White-winged Crossbill

Loxia leucoptera

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Fringilline and Cardueline Finches and Allies (Fringillidae)

Code 4

WWCR

Code 6

LOXLEU

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The White-winged Crossbill has a huge global range reaching up to generally ten million square kilometers. This bird can be found in an expansive range of locations including Bermuda, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Japan, Korea, Republic of, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Norway, Russian Federation, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States. It also has vagrant populations appearing in Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Greenland, Hungary, Ireland, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom as well. This bird prefers forested locations in temperate and boreal regions. The global population of this bird is estimated to be around 41 million individual birds. It is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. White-winged Crossbill is evaluated as Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

White-winged Crossbill: Medium crossbill, bright pink overall except for black wings with two bold white wing-bars. Belly has dull white center; white undertail coverts. Black tail, deeply notched. Swift bounding flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.


Range and Habitat

White-winged Crossbill: Breeds from Alaska across Canada to northern Quebec south to Nova Scotia and British Columbia and extreme northern states from Washington to Maine. In winter, may be found south to the Carolinas and Oregon. Also occurs in Eurasia. Preferred habitats include coniferous forests.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"sweet-sweet-sweet", "chif-chif-chif", "peet"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The White-winged Crossbill has been observed breeding in all 12 months. Breeding depends only upon a food supply that is sufficient for egg formation and rearing of young.
  • The unusual shape of the bill is an adaptation that makes it easier for them to remove the seeds from cones. The bill holds the cone scales open while the seed is removed with the tongue.
  • These birds have a specialized "pocket" in the middle throat that allows them to store additional seeds. An individual of this species may consume as many as 3,000 conifer seeds in one day.
  • A group of crossbills are collectively known as a "crookedness" and a "warp" of crossbills.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for White-winged Crossbill

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X