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White-winged Crossbill

From Opus

Revision as of 20:48, 20 February 2012 by Deliatodd-18346 (Talk | contribs)

Alternative name: Two-barred Crossbill

MalePhoto by Marcel GauthierCharlevoix, Quebec, Canada, August 2008
Male
Photo by Marcel Gauthier
Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, August 2008
Loxia leucoptera

Contents

Identification

Male

  • Rich carmine color inclining to crimson
  • Dark reddish-brown feet
  • Dusky-colored feathers and tail
  • Two broad white wing bars
  • Brownish sides

Female

  • Dusky upper parts
  • Yellowish-gray under parts streaked and dusky
  • Wings and tail similar to male, but paler
FemalePhoto by zerb21Van Buren Township, Michigan, USA, January 2009
Female
Photo by zerb21
Van Buren Township, Michigan, USA, January 2009

Immature
Resembles female, but under parts are dull yellowish gray, spotted and streaked in dark brown

Distribution

The nominate subspecies breeds in northern North America from Alaska to eastern Canada and northern USA while subspecies bifasciata breeds in northern Europe and Asia. Winters a little farther south.

Taxonomy

Subspecies

There are two subspecies[1]:

  • L. l. bifasciata:
  • Coniferous forests of northern Eurasia
  • L. l. leucoptera:
JuvenilePhoto by AlanRFair Isle, August 2008
Juvenile
Photo by AlanR
Fair Isle, August 2008

Habitat

Almost entirely spruce forests.

Behaviour

This is one of several species of Crossbills and other birds that exhibit eruptive behavior: they may be resident for several years in a breeding area but are then induced by unfavorable environmental factors to migrate in numbers to areas in which they otherwise are absent.

Diet

The diet includes pine nuts extracted from cones using their bill adapted for prying.

References

  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist

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