Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

White-winged Grosbeak (Mycerobas carnipes)


French: Gros-bec à ailes blanches German: Wacholderkernbeißer Spanish: Picogordo aliblanco

Coccothraustes carnipes


, 1836,



Geographical variation slight and clinal, with a certain increase in size and in plumage darkness from W to E. Birds from Kashka-suu, in N Kyrgyzstan, described as race merzbacheri, but differences from nominate considered trivial; synonymized with latter. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. c. speculigerus (J. F. Brandt, 1841) – NE Iran and SW Turkmenistan E to NW & EC Afghanistan and W Pakistan (Baluchistan).
  • M. c. carnipes (Hodgson, 1836) – E & SE Kazakhstan (Dzhungarskiy Alatau and Tien Shan) S to E Uzbekistan, NE Afghanistan and Tajikistan, W, C & S China (C & S Xinjiang, S Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia and NE Qinghai S to S Xizang, NW Yunnan, S Sichuan and S Shaanxi), and Himalayas from N Pakistan E to NE India (Arunachal Pradesh) and N Myanmar.
  • Descriptive notes

    22–24 cm; 50–66 g. Large, heavy-bodied grosbeak with short wing and longish, relatively slender tail. Male nominate race has head to upper back and to lower... read more


    Noisy and extremely vocal; most calls given from fairly high perch, occasionally near ground. Calls... read more


    Submontane and montane juniper (Juniperus) and spruce (Picea) forest, mixed fir... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly juniper berries (with pulp discarded), also berries of dogwood (Cornus), also seeds of spruce and mountain ash (Cerasus... read more


    Season May–Sept. Monogamous. Solitary. Nest built by female, a loose or bulky cup of fine twigs, plant stems and fibres, juniper bark... read more


    Partial altitudinal migrant. Some from higher areas descend to 1000–2400 m in non-breeding... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common in most of range.

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2019). White-winged Grosbeak (Mycerobas carnipes). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 June 2019).