Cassia Crossbill Loxia sinesciuris Benkman et al. (2009)
Appearance: Medium-sized finch red (males) to yellow (females) finch with distinctive mandibles curved and crossed at the tip.
Natural History: Was recently elevated as a species as Cassia Crossbill Loxia sinesciurus and is already a major conservation concern: http://www.hcn.org/articles/endangered-species-will-the-wests-newest-species-go-extinct. Restricted to South Hills and Albion Mountains of southern Idaho, in Twin Falls and Cassia Counties only. Resident, but may rarely wander to mountains to northeast of South Hills (Benkman et al. 2009). Uses a local variety of Lodgepole Pine that has evolved in absence of cone-predating pine squirrels. Flight call described as a low pitched very dry dip-dip-dip or dyip-dyip-dyip; very distinctive.
Object of study: – Conservation efforts!
Known call types (flight call): – Flight call described as a low pitched very dry dip-dip-dip or dyip-dyip-dyip; very distinctive.
For more on Cassia Crossbill see here:
Irruptions: – non-irruptive, but given current fires in the South Hills some birds will move
FiRN Needs: Recordings from the entire distribution area would be appreciated.