Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

Silhouette FinchesFinches

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

Leucosticte tephrocotis
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Fringillidae
Basic Description

This delicate pink-and-brown songbird is among the hardiest of all birds. Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches nest in the highest parts of the highest mountains in North America—the Brooks Range, the Rockies, the Cascades, and the Sierra Nevada—as well as on Alaska’s Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. These little birds flash pink bellies and wings as they forage, seemingly at complete ease, on snowfields, forbidding talus slopes, and in high winds or snowstorms. In winter they move downslope to avoid heavy snow and may visit feeders, sometimes alongside other rosy-finch species.

More ID Info
image of range map for Gray-crowned Rosy-FinchRange map provided by Birds of the WorldExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches usually require a hike to find, particularly in summer when they tend to stay high in barren mountains near snowline. During winter they often descend to lower elevations, where they can be regular at feeders in some communities. Follow recent sightings from local birders or check eBird to help track down this nomadic species. They’re also fairly easy to find on remote Alaskan islands, if you have the chance to visit.

Other Names
  • Pinzón Montano Nuquigrís (Spanish)
  • Roselin à tête grise (French)

Backyard Tips

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches may visit backyard bird feeders in the winter. They readily eat black oil sunflower seed scattered on the ground or on platform feeders.

  • Cool Facts