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Merlin Bird ID

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    Black Rosy-Finch Life History


    Habitat TundraBreeds in alpine areas, usually near rock piles, and cliffs. Winters in open country, including mountain meadows, high deserts, valleys, and plains.Back to top


    Food SeedsSeeds and insects.Back to top


    Nest Placement

    Nest Ground

    Nest Description

    Cup of grass and stems, lined with fine grass, hair, and occasionally feathers. Placed in crack or hole in cliff, on small cliff ledge under overhanging rocks, or under rocks in talus slides.

    Nesting Facts
    Clutch Size:3-6 eggs
    Egg Description:White.
    Condition at Hatching:Helpless with sparse down.
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    Behavior Ground ForagerPicks up insects and seeds from surface of snow, mud, and tundra.Back to top


    Conservation Red Watch ListThough there are no apparent population trends, this species may be declining, and is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 20,000, with 100% living in the U.S. They rate a 16 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are both a Tri-National Concern species and a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species.Back to top

    Backyard Tips

    This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

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    Johnson, Richard E. 2002. Black Rosy-Finch (Leucosticte atrata), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

    Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

    North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2014. The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

    Partners in Flight. 2017. Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

    Sibley, David Allen. 2014. The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A Knopf, New York.

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