Type 1 crossbill

Type 1 Crossbill

Geographic Range.In the East, this crossbill has been recorded in the southern Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and Virginia, as well as in Pennsylvania and Maine. In the West, it has been recorded along the coast of Washington (Olympic peninsula) and interior British Columbia. The bird probably also ranges across the Great Lakes region through the northern conifer belt to Alberta and coastal Alaska, but recordings from these areas are presently nonexistant.

Ecology and Habitat. In bill and body size measurements, Type 1 birds are medium-sized compared to most of the other North American types. These birds have been found associated with eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) in the southern Appalachians and Pennsylvania, white spruce (Picea glauca) in Maine, and hemlock (Tsuga) in Washington. They probably also use hemlock extensively in the East.

Natural History Notes. This may have once been the most common crossbill in the Northeast. In the 1800s, logging destroyed most of the big old white pines and hemlocks in the region, leaving few mature conebearing conifers to attract breeding crossbills.

Vocalizations. Type 1 flight calls are very similar to those of Type 2. Type 1 flight calls average shorter in duration, and most contain an initial, upward-rising component. Type 1 alarm calls are similar to those of Type 4 (both are nearly pure in tone, with little or no overlying harmonics), with Type 1 alarm calls averaging shorter in duration.