Living Bird Magazine
Gray-crowned Rosy-FinchLeucosticte tephrocotis
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Fringillidae
A songbird of extreme environments, the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch is found in open ground at the top of mountains from Alaska to California and out on the Aleutian and Pribilof islands.More ID Info
- Pinzón Montano Nuquigrís (Spanish)
- Roselin à tête grise (French)
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.
- Cool Facts
- The Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch is divided into six subspecies. The Pribilof and Aleutian forms are particularly large, weighing approximately twice as much as the smaller forms. The three subspecies found in the interior mountains have brown cheeks and the others have gray cheeks.
- Perhaps because of its remote breeding sites, which allow little contact with humans, the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch seems almost fearless. On its breeding grounds, foraging birds can be approached to within 1-2 meters (3-6 feet).
- Although all forms of rosy-finches in North American were merged with the Asian Rosy-Finch (Leucosticte arctoa) into a single species from 1983 to 1993, justification for this action was viewed as insufficient and was contradicted by genetic, biochemical, and morphological evidence. Once again, three distinct North American species of rosy-finch are recognized, with Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch being the most widely distributed and abundant form.
- Because of the remoteness of its breeding sites, few nests of the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch have been found.
- The oldest recorded Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch was a female, and at least 6 years, 7 months old when she was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Alaska.