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Alternative name: Two-barred Crossbill
Length 14.5-17 cm, weight 25-40 g
 Similar species
Other crossbills differ in lacking white wingbars, though Red Crossbill (or possibly hybrids between Red and White-winged Crossbills) can show narrow, weak white wingbars with diffuse margins; in pure White-winged Crossbills the wingbars are obvious, broad, and with sharply defined edges. Some other finches with white wingbars such as Chaffinch and Long-tailed Rosefinch could be confused on a brief view, but differ greatly in behaviour and calls.
Circumpolar northern hemisphere. The nominate subspecies breeds in northern North America from Alaska to eastern Canada and northern USA, while the subspecies L. l. bifasciata breeds in northern Europe and Asia. Winters a little farther south; irruptive after cone crop failures and can then be seen much further south than the normal wintering areas.
There are two subspecies:
It has been suggested that the two may be better treated as separate species, but this has not found significant acceptance.
Hispaniola Crossbill was formerly considered to be a third subspecies, but is now treated separately.
Mixed conifer forests in northern North America; exclusively in larch forests in northern Eurasia.
This is one of several species of Crossbills and other birds that exhibit eruptive behaviour: 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.
Conifer seeds, extracted from cones using their bill adapted for prying. White-winged Crossbill utilises a range of genera, including larch Larix, spruce Picea, hemlock Tsuga, douglas-fir Pseudotsuga and pine Pinus, while Two-barred Crossbill almost exclusively uses larch Larix, rarely using any other conifers.
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