Living Bird Magazine
Above treeline in the mountains of the western United States resides a chunky finch seemingly oblivious to cold and snow. The Black Rosy-Finch nests in cliffs and crevices in alpine areas where few people go. This nearly black finch has a gray cap and pink highlights on the wings and belly. It descends to slightly lower elevations in the winter when snow cover is deep, foraging at the edges of melting snow, along roadsides, or at feeders.More ID Info
Finding a Black Rosy-Finch typically means two things: dressing warmly and heading uphill. In the summer, you'll need to get above treeline. Hike a trail to an alpine area or take advantage of a tram that takes you to the top. When you’re as high as you can go, look for them in open areas near cliffs and around snowmelt. In the winter, deep snow at higher elevations means they are more likely to descend and seek out feeders. They forage in large flocks often with other rosy-finches. Their black bodies and smaller gray cap separate them from Brown-capped and Gray-crowned Rosy-finches.
This species often comes to bird feeders in the winter and eats black oil sunflower seeds and nyjer seeds, often from platform feeders or seed scattered on the ground. 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.