A female White-winged Crossbill rests close to their next meal on a fine winters day. Crossbill and their namesake bills are specialized to feed on conifer seeds. Prying open open the cone scales and then extracting the seeds with their tongues a single Crossbill can consume up to 3,000 seeds per day. Crossbill often travel in large flocks and seek out numerous species of conifer seeds just as they are ready to consume.
Crossbill typically are nomadic and wander across the boreal forests in search of food. Large Flocks containing up to 10,000 individuals have been reported to move through an area in a single day.
A wonderful and specialized bird and one in need of study as climate change descends upon the boreal forests they call home.
Benkman, C. W. (2020). White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.whwcro.01
2 thoughts on “White-winged Crossbill”
Both of these crossbill photos are superb, Mike. You captured the crossed bills just perfectly, and the birds are perched next to a pine cone too. Although I have seen many thousands of different bird species, I have never had the pleasure (yet) of spotting a crossbill. But this was the next best thing. Thanks.