Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Black rosy finch

Leucosticte atrata

(Photo from Planet of Birds)

Common name:
black rosy finch (en); tentelhão-rosado negro (pt); roselin noir (fr); pinzón rosado negro (es); rosenbauch-schneegimpel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae

This species is endemic to the western United States, breeding in Montana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and marginally in Oregon and Nevada. Outside the breeding season they wander a bit further into Colorado, northern New Mexico and north-eastern California.

These birds are 14-16 cm long and have a wingspan of 33 cm. They weigh 22-32 g.

The black rosy finch is found in high-altitude grasslands and alpine rocks, also using desert areas during the winter. They are found at altitudes of 3.000-4.500 m.

The feed on the seeds of grasses and weeds, which are supplemented with insects during the summer.

Black rosy finches breed in June-August. The nest is a bulky cup made of grasses, moss, and sometimes feathers mixed with grass and animal hair. It is placed in a crevice or hole in a cliff, usually in an inaccessible place, or sometimes in a niche among boulders of a rock slide. There the female lays 3-6 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 12-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 20 days after hatching, only becoming fully independent 2 weeks later. Each pair raises a single brood per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 20.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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