endemic to a single nation
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: (250-20,000 square km (about 100-8000 square miles)) BREEDS: mountains from southeastern Wyoming (Medicine Bow Range) south through Colorado to north-central New Mexico (Santa Fe region) (AOU 1983). WINTERS: generally at lower elevations in breeding range (AOU 1983).
Length: 16 cm
Weight: 27 grams
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: Barren, rocky or grassy areas and cliffs among glaciers or beyond timberline; in migration and winter also in open situations, fields, cultivated lands, brushy areas, and around human habitation (AOU 1983). Nests usually in rock crevices or holes in cliffs. May nest in mine shaft or old abandoned building.
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Comments: Forages on the ground for seeds. In the spring gleans wind-transported insects from the snow. Later in the season may glean insects from vegetation or may chase flying insects and catch them in the air.
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Comments: 2-3 large EOs, 10-15 smaller.
10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Comments: Perhaps 100,000.
Males typically outnumber females in breeding and wintering populations. During breeding season male defends "territory" around female wherever she moves (Ryser 1985). Forms large flocks when not breeding.
Life History and Behavior
Clutch size usually is 4-5. Incubation lasts 12-14 days, by female. Young are tended by both adults, leave nest at about 20 days.
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4B,N4N : N4B: Apparently Secure - Breeding, N4N: Apparently Secure - Nonbreeding
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This species had few EOs, limited range, but is numerous within that range. Most EOs are on public lands, and development in alpine areas (e.g., mining) has apparently not caused population declines. It currently appears globally secure.
Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)
Comments: Apparently stable.
Degree of Threat: D : Unthreatened throughout its range, communities may be threatened in minor portions of the range or degree of variation falls within natural variation
Comments: No known threats.
Global Protection: Few to very many (1 to >40) occurrences appropriately protected and managed
Comments: Most breeding areas are on public lands, ie. National Forest Wilderness areas, Rocky Mountain National Park.
Brown-capped rosy finch
The brown-capped rosy finch (Leucosticte australis) is a medium-sized finch.
Adults are brown on the head, back, and breast with pink on the belly, rump, and wings. The forehead is black. They have short black legs and a long forked tail.
In winter, these birds migrate short distances to lower elevations.
These birds forage on the ground, but may fly to catch insects in flight. They mainly eat seeds from weeds and grasses and insects. They often feed in small flocks.
The population of this bird appears to be declining.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Prior to 1983, North American rosy-finches were regarded as three species (L. ATRATA, L. AUSTRALIS, and L. TEPHROCOTIS). AOU (1983) lumped these together with Asian species as L. ARCTOA. Subsequently, Sibley and Monroe (1990, who cited unpublished genetic, biochemical, and morphological data by French and Loskot) and AOU (1993, who stated that the 1983 merger was based on insufficient new information) again recognized three species of rosy-finches in North America, distinct from Old World L. ARCTOA.
The three North American species sometimes have been merged as L. TEPHROCOTIS (American Rosy-Finch). Unpublished work by Johnson (1972) recognized a fourth North American species (L. GRISEONUCHA, comprising nominal subspecies GRISEONUCHA and UMBRINA of the Pribilof and Aleutian islands), but this taxon has not been accepted as a full species in subsequent checklists.