White-winged Crossbill

Loxia leucoptera




Fringilline & Cardueline Finches (Fringillidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White to blue green with brown and purple spots

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On horizontal tree link far out from trunk., 3 - 70 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Grass, bark, lichen, moss, and hair., Lined with twigs and weeds.





White-winged Crossbill Winter: Medium-sized crossbill, bright pink overall except for black wings with two bold, broad white wing-bars. Belly has dull white center; undertail coverts are white. Tail is black and deeply notched. Female is brown-streaked overall with olive-brown rump. Juvenile is heavily streaked.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

White-winged Crossbill: Three to five brown and purple spotted, white to blue green eggs are laid in a nest made of grass, bark, lichens, moss, and hair, and lined with twigs and weeds. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

White-winged Crossbill: Eats conifer seeds, other seeds, weeds, grasses, and insects. Forages in small flocks during most of year; attracted to salt licks and salt on surfaces of winter highways.

Readily Eats

Safflower, Apple Slices, Suet, Millet, Peanut Kernels, Fruit


White-winged Crossbill: Vigorous musical warbles and chatters, "sweet, sweet, sweet", on different pitches and often issued during display flight on hovering wings. Call is rapid, harsh repetitive series of "chif-chif-chif" notes and plaintive "peet."

Similar Species

White-winged Crossbill: Red Crossbill lacks white wing bars.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
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.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X