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Black Rosy-Finch Leucosticte atrata


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Black Rosy-Finch
credit: Peter Wallack/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Fringillidae, Finches view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has largely blackish plumage with some gray feather edging on back and breast; rear of crown is gray and has rosy pink wing coverts, edges to flight feathers, and flush on belly. ADULT FEMALE Similar, but plumage shows much less color and contrast, black elements of plumage being grayish. JUVENILE Gray overall, with two pink wing bars and pale flight feather edges.

Dimensions Length: 5 1/2-6 1/2" (14-17 cm)

Habitat Breeds above treeline; snow cover forces dispersal and descent to lower elevations in winter.

Observation Tips Make use of ski facilities to visit this species' inhospitable home.

Range Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Northwest

Voice Song is a series of chuup call notes.

Discussion Rocky Mountain specialty with smart plumage. Confusion is possible with interior Graycrowned (winter ranges overlap), but plumage lacks that species' warm brown tone and is blacker overall. Forms flocks outside breeding season and feeds at edges of snowfields. Sometimes nests and roosts in manmade structures. Sexes are dissimilar.