© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Two-barred Crossbill

Loxia leucoptera

  • Name also: White-winged Crossbill
  • Family: Finches – Fringillidae
  • Appearance: The brightest and smallest crossbill found in Finland. Beak smaller than that of other crossbills, and has two distinctive white stripes on wings. Male mainly bright red in colouring, females yellowish-green, juvenile plumage brownish with pronounced streaks.
  • Size: Length 14.5–16 cm, weight 25–34 g.
  • Nest: High up in coniferous trees near the crown, made of moss and fragments of decaying wood, lined on the outside with dry spruce twigs and beard lichen, and on the inside with dried grass, beard lichen, hairs and feathers.
  • Breeding: Lays 3–5 eggs March–April, incubated by female for 14–15 days. Fledglings leave nest within 22–24 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds across Finland especially in coniferous forests in eastern regions. Numbers vary greatly. Finnish breeding population estimated to vary between 1,000 and 20,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Irregular vagrant more commonly found in regions further east, but which may range into Central Europe. Most commonly migrates August–October and February–March. Birds may winter in Finland when food is available.
  • Diet: Seeds of spruce, alder, birch and larch trees, spruce shoots, and rowan berries.
  • Calls: Redpoll-like “psrit” and a harsh “toot”. Song similar to that of Crossbill.

Two-barred Crossbills are slightly smaller than Crossbills and have more slender beaks, which are still relatively sturdy and crossed. Birds in all plumages have two wide and distinctive white stripes on each wing, broadening towards their backs. Their tertial wing feathers also have white tips. Males are mainly red in colouring, while females are a bright yellowish-green. Juveniles resemble the immature birds of other crossbill species and are mainly brownish-grey with streaked plumage. Two-barred crossbills have brown legs, pale brown beaks and dark brown irises.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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