Trumpeter Finch

The Trumpeter Finch (Rhodopechys githaginea), is a small passerine bird in the family of finches, Fringillidae. This bird breeds in the Canary Islands, across north Africa, and in the Middle East and into central Asia. There is a small European population in southern Spain. Many birds are largely resident, but there is post-breeding dispersal, and some Asian breeders migrate into Pakistan for the winter. In the summer of 2005 there was a notable eruption of this species into northwestern Europe, with several birds reaching as far as England.

The Trumpeter Finch is a small, long-winged bird. It has a large head and short, very thick bill. The summer male has a red bill, gray head and neck, and pale brown upper parts. The breast, rump and tail are pink, the last having dark terminal feathers. Winter males, females and young birds are a very washed-out version of the breeding male. The song of this bird is a buzzing nasal trill, like a tin trumpet.

Stony desert or semi-desert is favored for breeding. Four eggs are laid in a nest in a rock crevice. This gregarious terrestrial finch’s food is mainly seeds, and, particularly in the breeding season, insects.

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