An uncommon resident of pine forests on the island of Hispaniola, this is the only member of its genus in the Caribbean. The crossed bill is the most distinctive feature of this bird which allows them to pry open the scales of Hispaniolan pine (Pinus occidentalis) cones. All individuals have a dark wing with two white wing bars, similar to its sister species the White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera) of North America. Local names for this species are Pico Cruzado and Periquito in the Dominican Republic, and Bék-kwazé and Bec-Croise in Haiti (Latta et al. 2006).
As with other crossbill species worldwide, Hispaniolan Crossbills rely on conifer seeds for sustenance. When the last ice age ended 12,000 years ago, Hispaniolan Crossbills were stranded in the coolest areas in the Caribbean--the high mountains on Hispaniola. Because of its restricted range, small population size, and increasing threats to pine forest, this species is listed as Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources; BirdLife International 2008).