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Bob Moul | profile | all galleries >> STRAYS, ABERRANTS AND ODDITIES >> WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

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ALLEN'S HUMMINGBIRD | OREGON JUNCO | WESTERN GREBE | WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS | RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD | WHITE IBIS-IMMATURE | SANDHILL CRANE | COMMON REDPOLLS | BULLOCK'S ORIOLE | LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE | SCOTT'S ORIOLE | HUDSONIAN GODWIT | PURPLE GALLINULE | BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCK | LARK SPARROW | NORTHERN LAPWING | VARIED THRUSH | SNOWY OWL | ABERRANT HOUSE FINCH | LEUCISTIC RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD | LEUCISTIC RED-TAILED HAWK | LEUCISTIC KILLDEER | LEUCISTIC WHITE-TAILED DEER

WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS

Loxia leucoptera

IRRUPTIVE SPECIES-IRREGULAR IN PA

Poor cone production across their northern range cause the White-winged Crossbills to move southward during
winter months. It is an irregular visitor to Pennsylvania although a few birds are found in most years.
Flocks ranging upwards to several hundred birds have been observed in irruptive years.

This flock, estimated at approximately 30 birds, was found in a cemetery in Shippensburg, Cumberland County,
Pennsylvania on January 17, 2009. On the 22nd, I decided to give chase in the hopes they would still be there.
Shortly after arriving at the location the birds were spotted flying into a nearby conifer. They were very
approachable as they extracted seed from hanging and fallen cones and seemingly drank water from the light snow cover.
I watched and photographed them for more than a half hour while standing at the same spot.

Interesting note: According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology,"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."

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