White-winged Crossbill: Medium crossbill, bright pink overall except for black wings with two bold white wing-bars. Belly has dull white center; white undertail coverts. Black tail, deeply notched. Swift bounding flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Range and Habitat
White-winged Crossbill: Breeds from Alaska and northern Quebec south to Newfoundland and British Columbia. In winter, found south to the Carolinas and Oregon. Also occurs in Eurasia. Found in coniferous forests.
The White-winged Crossbill has been observed breeding in all 12 months. Breeding depends only upon a food supply that is sufficient for egg formation and rearing of young.
The unusual shape of the bill is an adaptation that makes it easier for them to remove the seeds from cones. The bill holds the cone scales open while the seed is removed with the tongue.
These birds have a specialized "pocket" in the middle throat that allows them to store additional seeds. An individual of this species may consume as many as 3,000 conifer seeds in one day.
A group of crossbills are collectively known as a "crookedness" and a "warp" of crossbills.