photo by Phil Swanson
L 6 1/2″ (17 cm).
Song or calls:
Soft “twee” or harsh “cheet cheet.” Song is variable canary-like warbling with trills.
Description: Bill with crossed tips. Black wings with white-tipped tertials and two broad, bold white wing bars; dark tail. Adult male is bright pink overall. Immature male is mostly yellow, with patches of red or pink. Adult female is mottled with yellowish-olive or gray above; pale yellow rump; grayish-olive underparts; and yellow wash on breast and sides. Juvenile is heavily streaked with brown, and has thinner wing bars.
Food: More dependent on spruce cones than the Red Crossbill, and less dependent on pine cones.
Habitat: Found primarily in coniferous forests or plantations throughout the year.
Where in Nebraska: Rare and irregular spring migrant and winter visitor, mostly in eastern Nebraska. Has been seen west to Scotts Bluff County.
Field Notes: Like the Red Crossbill it wanders widely and irregularly in search of cones.
Fun Facts: An individual can consume up to 3,000 conifer seeds a day.