Gray-crowned Rosy Finch
The Gray-crowned Rosy Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis), is a species of finch found from Alaska to the northwestern United States. Their breeding habitat is rocky islands and barren areas on mountains. They build a cup nest in a sheltered location on the ground or on a cliff. These birds are permanent residents on some islands and in the Canadian Rockies. Other birds migrate south to the western United States.
Adults are brown on the back and breast and mainly pink on the rest of the underparts and the wings. The forehead and throat are black. The back of the head is gray. They have short black legs and a long forked tail. There is some variability in the amount of gray on the head.
These birds forage on the ground, many fly to catch insects in flight. They mainly eat seeds from weeds and grasses, and insects. They often feed in small flocks.
At one time, this bird, the Black Rosy Finch and the Brown-capped Rosy Finch were considered to be the same species as the Asian Rosy Finch. One of the best places to view all three North American species of Rosy-Finches is at the Crest House as they winter in the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque.