Documentation of White-winged Crossbill

Observer Information

Reporter:  Sue Riffe  96 Antelope Dr.,   LYONS, CO  80540-9023
Other Observers:  Brandon P., Jon Drummond, Lynne Miller, and 10 others

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  White-winged Crossbill
First Date/Time:  1/6/2018 1:30:00 PM
Last Date/Time:  1/6/2018 2:13:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  :43
County:  Pueblo
Specific Location:  Mountain View Cemetery
Number:  1
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Male
Plumage:  Breeding


Pine tree with lots of cones

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Swarovski 8x42
Distance:  50 feet
Light:  overcast

Description of the Bird

Vocalization - heard call notes in flight. "choa, choa" fast and short without any pitch, rough almost scraping on sandpaper.

Visual - a heavy bird with overall pinkish appearance, two bright white thick wing bars, heavy crossed seed bill, black wings and tail, and dark lores.

Behavior - Sitting in pines with heavy cones, often found upside down removing seeds from cones. Flew to several different trees as it seemed skiddish. Once it landed on the pine with the most cones, it stayed for 15 minutes moving from branch to branch feeding.

Similar Species Discussion

Red Crossbill - eliminated due to the two white wing bars
Pine Grosbeak male - eliminated due to the crossed longer bill vs a thick shorter seed bill, the two clear thick wing bars vs thin white wing bars, the smaller size, the general shape, the black wings vs grayish on the Pine.

Resources Used

Sibley Guide

Previous Experience

My experience has been more with Pine Grosbeaks and knowing it wasn't one. I've seen three male White-winged Crossbills and this was my best sighting. 


Review of photos

Date Documentation Submitted

1/7/2018 8:32:00 AM
Click left or right edges of photos to move through all; click outside image to close

Location Map

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2) No specific coordinates are available but the location is mappable.
3) A generic location with no specific coordinates is mapped to the center of the reported county.

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