Loxia leucoptera
(White-winged Crossbill)


Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Fringillidae
Family Description: Finches, Crossbills, and Grosbeaks

Physical Description:
Two distinct white wing bars on a bird with a crossed bill. Adults males are red overall, pinker in the winter. Young males are yellow and females are mottled with a yellowish-gray belly and rump. Juveniles are streaked on the head and front, and thinner wing bars.

Similar species- Red Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak.

Song:
Flight call is rapid series of "chet" calls, song combines harsh rattles and musical warbles.

Distribution:
Alaska and the Yukon to central Manitoba and irregularly south along the Rockies to Utah and Colorado. In Idaho it has nested in the Selkirks north of Sandpoint, and probably in the Yellowstone area.

Habitat:
Information is not available at this time.

Diet:
Conifer seeds, but also seeds of deciduous trees, grasses, berries, and insects. They have a fondness for salt and frequently are killed along salted roads.

Ecology:
An irruptive species that moves with the cone crops, and nests where they are plentiful. They usually breed in the late winter and spring, and the male feeds the female by regurgitation. In winter they move in flocks of 12-50 birds, sometimes with Red Crossbills and Pine Grosbeaks.

Reproduction:
monogamousClick word for definition. Female builds a cup nest in a conifer branch where she lays 2-5 eggs. Only the female incubatesClick word for definition for 12-14 day, when she is fed by her mate.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABPBY05020
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S1
National Rank: N5

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.


Photos by C. Trost and C. S. Robbins. ©2002.
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.