5 1/4-6 1/2" (13-17 cm). Rusty red with white flecks; dark wings and tail. Have crossed mandibles as indicated by name. Females are grayish with dull yellow rump and underparts. Immatures duller and streaked.
Similar Species- Pine Siskin, White-winged Crossbill
Soft, whistled kip or jip-jip-jip-jip-jip.
Resident from southeastern Alaska, east to Newfoundland, and south in western U.S. to northern Baja California and Nicaragua (south in eastern U.S. to northern Wisconsin, Tennessee, and North Carolina).
Found in coniferous and mixed coniferous/deciduous forests, pine savannas, and pine/oak habitat. During migration and in winter, found in deciduous forests, and in more open, scrubby areas. Preliminary results of Idaho-Montana study found species favoring rotation-aged Douglas- fir stands over old-growth.
Eats seeds (e.g., pine, fir, spruce, hemlock, larch, birch, alder, elm), buds, and insects.
Builds cup-shaped nest in tree. Takes food from foliage, or forages on ground. May feed with other species. Does not maintain feeding territory. Forms flocks when not breeding.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Hejl, S.J. and R.E. Woods. 1990. Bird assemblages in old-growth and rotation-aged Douglas-fir/Ponderosa pine stands in the northern Rocky Mountains: a preliminary assessment. Pp. 93-100 in D.M. Baumgartner and J.E. Lotan, eds., Proceedings of a Symposium on Interior Douglas-fir: the species and its management. Feb. 27, 1990, Spokane WA.