Cassia Crossbill

The Cassia Crossbill: A Unique Bird Species

The Cassia Crossbill (Loxia sinesciuris) is a bird species that is endemic to southern Idaho’s central mountain ranges. It was named after the plant Genus Cassia, which can be found in the region. This bird has distinctive features that make it easy to spot and identify.

Basic Description

Cassia crossbills are small birds, measuring about 6 inches long with a wingspan of approximately 10 inches. Both males and females have red plumage on their heads, necks, breasts, and rumps; the male has more red on its body than the female. The upperparts of both sexes are brownish while their underparts are gray or yellowish.

Where To Find This Bird

The Cassia Crossbill can only be found in southern Idaho’s central mountains near Albion Mountain Range and Copper Basin Area. These areas provide suitable habitats for these birds since they contain lodgepole pines trees where this species likes to live.


As mentioned earlier, this species prefers living in pine forests’ dense stands characterized by mature lodgepole pine trees with intact cones fastened onto branches at least one year old for feeding purposes. In addition to these types of forests, they also inhabit mixed-coniferous woodlands with whitebark pines at higher elevations during winter months when heavy snow covers lower elevations.


The primary food source for this unique bird species comes from conifer seeds primarily obtained from Lodge pole Pine Trees’ cones—consumption of three different cone types over time based on maturation stages providing them with variety diet options within its preferred forest habitat range.

Cool Facts

– They evolved into a new subspecies through specialization.
– They have distinct bills specialized only for extracting seeds from tightly closed native tree cones.
– Their population size is relatively small due to geographic isolation; thus, they are a unique bird species that should be conserved.

In conclusion, the Cassia Crossbill is an incredible and rare bird species only found in central Idaho’s mountains. Its distinct features and habitat preferences make it easy to identify, providing bird-watchers with a unique experience. As conservation efforts continue for this subspecies of crossbills, there is hope that their population will grow and flourish.