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Brown-capped Rosy-Finch

Silhouette FinchesFinches
Brown-capped Rosy-FinchLeucosticte australis
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Fringillidae

Basic Description

With its rosy pink belly and brown upperparts, the Brown-capped Rosy-Finch looks like raspberry ice cream smothered in chocolate. This rosy-finch breeds almost entirely in Colorado, in high alpine areas near remote glaciers and snowy meadows where they feed on seeds and insects along the edge of melting snow. In winter, they descend in flocks into forested habitats at lower elevations. They often show up in large numbers at feeders in mountain communities.

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

Find This Bird

The Brown-capped Rosy-Finch is a localized species that is easiest to find in winter. That’s when flocks come down from the high peaks into Rocky Mountain communities, in search of seeds along roadsides and at bird feeders. Finding them may involve little more than driving around developed areas and looking for flocks, which are often mixed with Gray-crowned and Black Rosy-Finches. In summer, hiking up into the highest alpine tundra and watching the edges of the melting snow will sometimes reward you with sightings of a few birds.

Other Names

  • Pinzón Montano Coronipardo (Spanish)
  • Roselin à tête brune (French)

Backyard Tips

Brown-capped Rosy-Finches eat many kinds of seed, including canary seed, millet, niger, and black-oil sunflower. Any high elevation feeding station in central Colorado has a good chance of attracting a flock during midwinter, especially after a big snowfall in the high peaks. Find out more about what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

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