Black Rosy-Finch: Medium finch with black-brown breast and back, and gray headband. Belly, rump, and wing patches are pink mixed with brown. Forages on ground and in shrubs, grasses and snowfields. Eats seeds and insects. Swift bounding flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Range and Habitat
Black Rosy-Finch: Breeds in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming to northern Nevada and Utah; spends winters south to northern Arizona and New Mexico. Preferred habitats include alpine tundra and meadows; during winter is found in nearby lowlands.
Only three people known to recorded scientific literature had ever found a nest before Maureen Ryan attempted the challenge in the summer of 2002. Using geographic information systems (GIS) technology and strong mountaineering skills, the University of Wyoming student became the fourth – when she discovered a nest at an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet in Utah's Uinta Mountains.
The Black Rosy-Finch builds its nest inside cliff crevices and on large boulders between the elevations of 10,000 and 13,000 feet.
Their limited range and possible recent drop in population make it of conservation concern. In addition, there have been few systematic studies of this species because of the difficulty of accessing its habitat and nesting sites.
A group of rosy-finches are collectively known as a "bouquet" of finches.
The Black Rosy Finch currently has a rating of Least Concern. This bird is native to the United States and covers a range of 140,000 square kilometers. The population of the Black Rosy Finch is thought to be about 50,000 individual birds. During the last decade, the population of this bird has remained stable and there is no concern that the Black Rosy Finch will be at risk for a population decline in the next decade. Consequently, the rating for this bird has been downgraded from Lower Risk.