1 THREE-BANDED ROSEFINCH “Carpodacus trifasciatus” 18cm FIELD – NOTES: Lethargic, often sits immobile for long periods hidden in bushes or trees. Forages on the ground or in bushes, usually in pairs or small groups. VOICE: Generally silent. HABITAT: Orchards and hedges in cultivated fields and temperate forests. DISTRIBUTION: Vagrant, recorded from China, India, and Bhutan. Family Fringillidae
2 SPOT-WINGED ROSEFINCH “Carpodacus rodopeplus” 15cm FIELD NOTES: Generally shy and retiring, although often perches prominently on bush tops; forages on the ground. VOICE: Usually silent, but occasionally gives a chirp or an up-slurred churr-weee. HABITAT: Rhododendron scrub and bushes on alpine slopes and meadows; descends to bamboo thickets, bushes, and mixed forest in winter. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the C Himalayas, Nepal, and India. It is also known as Spotted Rosefinch in the family of Fringillidae.
3 WHITE-BROWED ROSEFINCH (HIMALAYAN WHITE-BROWED ROSEFINCH) “Carpodacus thura” 17cm FIELD NOTES: Forages on the ground, usually in pairs or small parties; sometimes mixes with other rosefinches or grosbeaks. VOICE: Calls include a buzzing deep-deep deep-de-de-de-de or a bleating veh ve ve ve ve ve ve, a rapid piping pupupipipipi and a loud pwit-pwit. HABITAT: High-altitude open forest or forest edge, rhododendron, juniper, and bamboo scrub above the tree line; winters on open hillsides with bushes and scrub. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the Himalayas.
4 RED-MANTLED ROSEFINCH “Carpodacus rhodochlamys” 18cm FIELD NOTES: Usually secretive; forages on the ground or low down in bushes, generally in pairs; in winter alone or in small parties. VOICE: A feeble series of short, wheezy chirp and twit notes interspersed with occasional squeaky whistles. Calls include a plaintive, buzzing kwee or squee and a sharp wir. HABITAT: High-altitude juniper, briar, and scrub; winters at lower levels in bushes, thorny scrub, cultivations and gardens. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in W Himalayas and Pakistan mountains.
5 GREAT ROSEFINCH (SPOTTED GREAT ROSEFINCH) “Carpodacus rubicilla” 19–21cm FIELD NOTES Forages on the ground or in low bushes, wary; generally, alone or in pairs; in winter forms small flocks, often in the company of other rose finches. VOICE: A low wreep and a series of low chuckles. Calls include a rasping jink, a soft jeweet, and a short twittering. HABITAT: High-altitude areas with boulders and sparse vegetation; in winter also in hillside scrub and fields. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the Himalayas.
6 STREAKED ROSEFINCH (EASTERN GREAT ROSEFINCH) “Carpodacus rubicilloides” 19cm FIELD NOTES: Generally shy and retiring. Perches on rocks, bushes, and trees, forage on the ground; flicks wings and tail when agitated. There is a record of large numbers (hundreds) roosting in willow groves. VOICE: A slow descending tsee-tsee-soo-soo-soo, usually repeated. Calls include a twink, pink, or sink, a soft sip, and a melancholic dooid-dooid. HABITAT: High-altitude rocky slopes, scree, plateaux, and hillsides with scrub; winters in thickets. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the N Himalayas.
7 RED-BREASTED ROSEFINCH (RED-FRONTED ROSEFINCH) “Carpodacus puniceus” 20cm FIELD NOTES: Forages on the ground among boulders, bushes, or by melting snow, alone, in pairs, or small parties. VOICE: A short twiddle-le-de with various melodious down-slurred whistles. Calls include a loud, cheery are-you-quite ready, a cat-like maaau and a chirp or jeelp uttered in flight. HABITAT: High-altitude boulder fields, rocky screes, and slopes. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the N Himalayas.
8 CRIMSON-BROWED FINCH (RED-HEADED ROSEFINCH) “Propyrrhula subhimachala” 19cm FIELD NOTES: Unobtrusive. Forages on the ground or in bushes and low trees, usually in pairs or small parties. VOICE: A bright variable warble, which may include a ter-ter-ter phrase. The call is a sparrow-like chirp. HABITAT: Dense, high-altitude scrub; winters in thick undergrowth in forests. DISTRIBUTION: Resident from C to E Himalayas; winter visitor to the NE.30 Most Beautiful Finches in Asia
9 SILLEM’S MOUNTAIN FINCH “Leucosticte sillemi” 15–17cm FIELD NOTES: Rump and outer tail feathers pale buff-white. Actions probably much as other mountain finches. VOICE: Unknown. HABITAT: High, barren plateaux. DISTRIBUTION: Maybe resident in the NW Himalayas.
10 BRANDT’S MOUNTAIN FINCH “Leucosticte brandti” 16–19cm FIELD NOTES: Forages on the ground, often at the edge of snow-melt or lakesides, readily perches on rocks and bushes; usually encountered in pairs or small parties, with much larger, compact flocks in winter, which wheel, circle, plunge and rise around cliffs. Nominate is a straggler to the extreme NW; L. b. haematopygia (2b) is resident in the Himalayas. VOICE: A short trill. Calls include a loud twittwitt, twee-ti-ti or peek-peek, and a harsh churr. HABITAT: High-altitude cliffs and crags, barren stony mountaintops. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in The Himalayas.
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11 PLAIN MOUNTAIN FINCH “Leucosticte nemoricola” 15cm FIELD NOTES: Forages on the ground, flying into nearby treetops when disturbed; gregarious at all times, often flies in large wheeling, twisting flocks. VOICE: A sharp twittering rick-pi-vitt or dui-dip-dip-dip interspersed with twittering trills and sweet warbling notes. Calls include a soft twittering chi-chi-chi-chi and double-noted shrill whistle. HABITAT: Mountains, hillsides, and alpine meadows; descends in winter to terraced fields, open forested slopes, and cultivations. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the Himalayas.
12 CRIMSON-WINGED FINCH (EURASIAN CRIMSON-WINGED FINCH) “Rhodopechys sanguineus” 16cm FIELD NOTES: Forages mainly on the ground. In-flight shows much pink on wings and rump. VOICE: Calls include a soft, musical wee-tll-ee or wee-tell-er and a harsh chilip that is often uttered in flight; other flight notes are a fluty dy-lit-dy-lit and a soft chee-up. HABITAT: Bare mountain slopes, boulder fields, cliffs, and gorges with or without sparse scrub. DISTRIBUTION: Vagrant, recorded from Chitral in N Pakistan.
13 TRUMPETER FINCH “Bucanetes githagineus” 15cm FIELD NOTES: Gregarious at all times, with larger flocks in winter; forages on the ground, often visit small pools to drink. VOICE: A distinctive drawn-out, nasal, buzzing cheeeeeu interspersed with twittering, clicks, and whistles. Calls include an abrupt chee or chit and a soft weechp or dzit given in flight. HABITAT: Desert or semi-desert areas, including stony plains and rocky hills. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in Pakistan, a winter visitor to NW India.
14 MONGOLIAN FINCH “Eremopsaltria mongolica” 15cm FIELD NOTES: Forages on the ground, alone or in pairs or small parties; forms larger locks in winter; regularly makes evening or morning flights to drink at desert springs. VOICE: A slow do-mi-sol-mi or towit-too whit-tu-tu-churrrh. Calls include a soft djou-voud or djouddjou; feeding flocks keep up a constant twittering. HABITAT: Arid or semi-arid mountain areas, with crags, ravines, and rocky slopes with low vegetation and scattered low bushes. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the extreme NW; a winter visitor to W Pakistan and Nepal.
15 DESERT FINCH “Rhodospiza obsolete” 15cm FIELD NOTES: Forages on the ground, but regularly perches on bushes, trees, and wires. Generally, in pairs, with small flocks formed post-breeding. VOICE: A repetitive jumble of twittering call notes, harsh trills, and rolls. Calls include a soft purring, a harsh turr, and in-flight a sharp shreep. HABITAT: Dry plains with scattered trees and bushes. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in W Pakistan.
16 SPECTACLED FINCH “Callacanthis burtoni” 17cm FIELD NOTES: Forages on the forest floor or under bushes, retreats to sit in trees when disturbed; generally, in pairs or small parties. VOICE: A loud trilling il-til-til also, a monotonous, repeated single note. Calls include a clear tew-tew, a loud pwee or chew-we, often followed by a pweeu, pweuweu or chipeweu; also utters a light chip and when alarmed a rising uh-eh or twee-yeh. HABITAT: Open mixed forest. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the Himalayas.30 Most Beautiful Finches in Asia
17 BLANFORD’S ROSEFINCH (CRIMSON ROSEFINCH) “Carpodacus rubescens” 15cm FIELD NOTES: Little known. Sings from top of the tree; forages on the ground, generally in pairs, with larger parties in winter. VOICE: A loud musical warbling that rises and falls in pitch, the last note down-slurred. Calls include a high, thin sip and a series of short rising and falling pitch-ew, pitch-it, chit-it, chit-ew notes which are also given individually. HABITAT: Open areas in coniferous or mixed conifer and birch forest. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the C and E Himalayas.
18 DARK-BREASTED ROSEFINCH (DARK or NEPAL ROSEFINCH) “Carpodacus nipalensis” 15–16cm FIELD NOTES: Shy; feeds on the ground or in or under bushes, in pairs or small parties; often occurs in large, single-sex flocks mixed with other rosefinches. VOICE: A monotonous chirping. Calls include a plaintive, wailed double whistle, a twittering, and a cha-a-rr alarm note. HABITAT: Mixed forests of oak, conifer, and rhododendrons, also scrub, low bushes, and weedy areas above the tree line; in winter also in forest edge and clearings. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the Himalayas.
19 COMMON ROSEFINCH (SCARLET ROSEFINCH) “Carpodacus erythrinus” 15cm FIELD NOTES: Skulking, forages on the ground or in low vegetation, bushes, and trees, generally alone, in pairs or small parties; in winter often in larger flocks mixed with other finches, sparrows or buntings. Nominate is a widespread winter visitor; C. e. roseatus (3b) breeds in NW Pakistan and the Himalayas. VOICE: A cheery twee-twee-tweeou or ti-dew-di-dew or similar. Calls include a rising ooeet, ueet or too-ee, and when alarmed a sharp chay-eeee. HABITAT: Streamside willows, rock and scrub, bush-covered slopes and open conifer forest; winters in open wooded country, scrub, bushes, and cultivation. DISTRIBUTION: Breeds in the Himalayas and NW Pakistan; widespread winter visitor.
20 BEAUTIFUL ROSEFINCH (HIMALAYAN BEAUTIFUL ROSEFINCH) “Carpodacus pulcherrimus” 15cm FIELD NOTES: In flight shows a pink rump. Forages on the ground or low down in bushes and scrub, usually in pairs or small flocks. VOICE: Calls include a subdued trip, trilp or trillip, a tit-like twitter; in-flight utters a harsh chaaannn. HABITAT: Steep hillsides with rhododendron and other bushes, near or above the tree line; winters on open scrub-covered hillsides and terraced cultivation with nearby bushes. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in The Himalayas.
21 PINK-BROWED ROSEFINCH “Carpodacus rodochroa” 14–15cm FIELD NOTES: Unobtrusive ground forager, flying up to perch in bushes if disturbed; usually in pairs or small loose flocks. VOICE: A loud, lilting toowhi toowhi. Calls include a loud per-lee or chew-wee and a canary-like sweet. HABITAT: The undergrowth in mixed fir and birch forest, willow bushes, rhododendrons, and dwarf juniper; in winter also occurs in scrub jungle, open hillsides, grassy slopes, and gardens. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the Himalayas.
22 VINACEOUS ROSEFINCH “Carpodacus vinaceus” 15cm FIELD NOTES: Shows distinct whitish tips to tertials. Forages on the ground, in dense vegetation or in low bushes; usually in pairs or small parties. VOICE: A simple pee-de – be – dodo. Calls include a whiplash-like pwit or zieh, a high tip, and a low pink or zick. HABITAT: Moist mixed or bamboo forests and scrubby open hillsides. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in C Himalayas.
23 DARK-RUMPED ROSEFINCH “Carpodacus edwardsii” 16cm FIELD NOTES: Paler-chinned than similar Vinaceous Rosefinch. Skulking, forages on the ground under bushes, usually alone or in small groups; post-breeding may occur in larger flocks. VOICE: Calls include a metallic twink and a rasping che-wee. HABITAT: Breeds in rhododendron and silver fir forest; winters in open rhododendron or birch forest and mountainside bamboo and scrub. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the C and E Himalayas.30 Most Beautiful Finches in Asia
24 SCARLET FINCH “Haematospiza sipahi” 18cm FIELD NOTES: Often perches, prominently, on the end of a dead branch; forages in trees, bushes, and on the ground, alone, in pairs or in scattered flocks; in winter often seen in single-sex flocks. VOICE: A clear, liquid par-ree-reeeeee. Calls include a loud too-eee or pleeau and a kwee-i-iu or chew-we-auh. HABITAT: Edges and clearings in montane coniferous forest; in winter also in oak and bamboo forest. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the Himalayas and NE India.
25 HAWFINCH “Coccothraustes Coccothraustes” 17cm FIELD NOTES: Forages in trees or on the ground beneath trees, in small scattered flocks of up to six individuals, occasionally up to 30. VOICE: Calls include an abrupt tick or tzik, also a thin seep or sreee. HABITAT: Wooded hills, wild olive forest, and orchards. DISTRIBUTION: Winter visitor, mainly to Pakistan.
26 BLACK-AND-YELLOW GROSBEAK “Mycerobas icteriodes” 22cm FIELD NOTES: Best located by ringing calls. Forages in treetop foliage, in bushes, and on the ground in pairs or loose flocks. Male similar to Collared Grosbeak, but yellow less golden; black thighs. VOICE: A rich, clear prr-trweeet-a-troweeet or a tookiyu tookiyu. Calls include a high-pitched, whistled pi-riu pir-riu pir-riu or tit-te-tew tit-te-tew and a short chuck or cluck. HABITAT: Pine, silver fir, and deodar forest, also oak woods and scrub at forest or woodland edge. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in W Himalayas.
27 SPOT-WINGED GROSBEAK “Mycerobas melanozanthos” 22cm FIELD NOTES: Shy. Usually sits and forages in treetops, also feeds low down or on the ground; generally, in pairs or flocks of 50 or so individuals. VOICE: A loud, melodious tew-tew – teeeu, also some mellow tyop-tiu or tyu-tio whistles. Call is a rattling krrr or charrarauk, said to sound like the shaking of a matchbox containing only a few matches; feeding flocks keep up a constant cackling. HABITAT: Mixed conifer and broadleaved forest. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in The Himalayas and NE India.
28 WHITE-WINGED GROSBEAK “Mycerobas carnipes” 22cm FIELD NOTES: Forages mainly in the treetops, also in scrub and undergrowth; generally, in pairs or small groups, with bigger flocks in winter. VOICE: A piping add-a-dit – un-didi-di-dit or dja-dji-dji-dju. Calls include a nasal shwenk or chwenk, a strident wit or wet, a grating going,g and a rapid, harsh chet-et-et-et. HABITAT: Dwarf juniper forest above treeline, mixed juniper, and fir near the tree line, at lower elevations, mixed fir, juniper, and rhododendron forest or fir forest with bamboo undergrowth. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the Himalayas and the mountains of W Pakistan.
29 GOLDEN-NAPED FINCH “Pyrrhoplectes epaulette” 15cm FIELD NOTES: Secretive. Forages on the ground or in the interior of bushes and undergrowth; in winter occurs in small flocks, often in the company of rosefinches. VOICE: A rapid, high-pitched pi-pi-pi-pi, also low piping. Calls include a thin, repeated teeu, tseu or peeuu, a pur-lee, and a plee-e-e. HABITAT: Undergrowth in high altitude oak and rhododendron forests. DISTRIBUTION: Resident from C to E Himalayas.
30 COLLARED GROSBEAK “Mycerobas affinis” 22cm FIELD NOTES: Forages in the tree canopy, in bushes or low vegetation, and on the ground, usually in pairs or small loose parties, in larger flocks in winter. Male similar to Black-and-yellow Grosbeak, but yellow more golden, especially on the nape; thighs yellow. VOICE: A loud, clear, piping ti-di-li-ti-di-li-umm, also a constantly repeated creaky phrase, interspersed with musical bulbul-like notes. Calls include a rapid, mellow pip-pip-pip-pip-pip-pip-ugh and a sharp kurr given when alarmed. HABITAT: Oak, rhododendron or mixed conifer and deciduous forest, occasionally in dwarf rhododendron or juniper above the tree line. DISTRIBUTION: Resident in the Himalayas. Read More – White-winged Dove30 Most Beautiful Finches in Asia
Reference – Norman Arlott – Birds of India
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