Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

White-winged Crossbill Loxia leucoptera


enlarge +

White-winged Crossbill, male
credit: John Harrison /CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

All Images

1 article:

Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Fringillidae, Finches view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has bright pinkish red plumage overall, palest and grayest on belly and flanks. Dark wings have two broad white wing bars; tail is blackish. ADULT FEMALE Has streaked, dull olive-yellow plumage overall, but dark wings show similar pattern to male. JUVENILE Brownish and heavily streaked, paler below than above; wing bars are less distinct than on adult. First-year male recalls adult male but red elements of plumage are bright pinkish yellow. First-year female is similar to adult female.

Dimensions Length: 6-6 1/2" (15-17 cm)

Habitat Fairly common resident of northern coniferous forests, especially favoring larch and spruce. Occurrence is hard to predict: wanders in search of ripe cones.

Observation Tips Feeding flocks can be hard to find.

Range Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, New England, Western Canada, Great Lakes, Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Eastern Canada, Plains, Alaska, Southwest

Voice Song is a series of vibrating trills and whistles; flight call is a sharp chip-chip.

Discussion Cross-tipped mandibles and bold white wing bars make for easy recognition (wing bars are much more striking than on variant Red Crossbill). Forms roving flocks outside breeding season. Sexes are dissimilar.