Bird Quiz: White-Winged Crossbill

Bird Quiz: White-Winged Crossbill

Michele Berger
Published: 03/02/2011

1. How many seeds can one white-winged crossbill eat in a day?
a. 100
b. 1,000
c. 3,000
d. 10,000

2. True or False: Males of this species appear pink during wintertime and become a deeper shade of red during summer.

3. Which is more common: White-winged crossbills with the lower part of their bills crossing to the right or to the left
?

4. What does the call of the white-winged crossbill sound like?

a. chet-chet-chet-chet
b. cock-a-doodle-doo
c. jips-jips-jips
d. chik-a-dee-dee-dee

5. How far east does this species live year round?
a. Minnesota
b. Illinois
c. Maine
d. Newfoundland


Image by Nick Saunders

Answers
1. How many seeds can one white-winged crossbill eat in a day?
C, 3,000. According to Cornell’s All About Birds database, these birds, which live in coniferous forests, feed on thousands of conifer seeds each day, especially those from spruce and tamarack.

2. True or False: Males of this species appear pink during wintertime and become a deep shade of red during summer.
True, the color of males of this species darkens during the summer. Females, on the other hand, meet this description all year, according to All About Birds: “Breast and rump grayish green to yellowish olive, streaked with dusky. Back and top of head greenish mottled with brown. Belly and flanks tan with dusky streaks. Wings and tail dark brown, with two large white wingbars.”

3. Which is more common: White-winged crossbills with the lower part of their bills crossing to the right or to the left?
Crossing to the right. In fact, according to Cornell Lab of Ornithology, it’s three times more likely that the lower mandible will cross in that direction. Strange, right?

4. What does the call of the white-winged crossbill sound like?
A, chet-chet-chet-chet. Take a listen for yourself, courtesy of Macaulay Library’s online archive of animal and bird sounds.

5. How far east does this species live year round?
D, Newfoundland. According to Audubon Guides, in winter, the birds move as far south as the Carolinas on the east coast and Oregon on the west coast.

Add comment

Login to post comments