White-winged Crossbill Female
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|A medium-sized finch of the boreal forest, the White-winged Crossbill is adapted for extracting seeds from the cones of coniferous trees. It moves large distances between years tracking the cone crop from place to place.|
•Stocky red or greenish finch.
•Black wings with two large white wingbars.
•Short, notched tail.
•Thick, curved bill with crossed tips.
Breast and rump grayish green to yellowish olive, streaked with dusky. Back and top of head greenish mottled with brown. Belly and flanks tan with dusky streaks. Wings and tail dark brown, with two large white wingbars.
•Individual White-winged Crossbills can eat up to 3,000 conifer seeds each day.
•Breeding of the White-winged Crossbill is opportunistic and can occur throughout the year whenever food is sufficient for the female to form eggs and raise young. The species has been recorded breeding in all 12 months.
•White-winged Crossbills with lower mandibles crossing to the right are approximately three times more common than those with lower mandibles crossing to the left.
•Adult White-winged Crossbills change (molt) their feathers once each year, usually in the autumn. The red feathers of the male have unpigmented barbules on the surface that mask the red and make the bird appear pink at first in the fall. As these barbules wear off the bright red shows through, making the spring and summer male brilliantly colored.
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