Exotic Rosefinches: Can You Tell These Different Pink-Colored Birds Apart?

May 19, 2020 Updated: May 19, 2020

Everywhere from Nepal to Sweden, North America to China, tiny gorgeous birds called rosefinches delight bird watchers and catch the eyes of nature-trail enthusiasts. Belonging to the songbird family, Fringillidae, rosefinches are believed to have originated somewhere in the Sino-Himalayas.

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(L: Prateek Kulkarni/Shutterstock, R: Dararat Insuwan/Shutterstock)

However, these small but beautiful birds have diversified over the centuries—and spread out their locations, too. Chances are, there is a type of rosefinch living somewhere near you at some point during the year; even up in Scandinavia, there are common rosefinches that follow a “loop migration” path from India to spend their springs and summers.

The rosefinch typically has a pinkish color to it, which explains the name of this particular branch of the “finch” family. But with so many different types, can you tell them apart? Here are a few of the selected breeds.

1. Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)

The common rosefinch is also called the “scarlet rosefinch” and lives primarily in Europe and Asia. Females and juveniles have a dull coloration to them, but grown males are almost rosy-carmine in color with white bellies and dark wings.

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2. Dark-Rumped Rosefinch (Carpodacus edwardsii)

Found primarily in Bhutan, China, Myanmar, and Nepal, the dark-rumped rosefinch differs from the common rosefinch in a way that its name might suggest; this bird has a dark underside to its tail, giving it a “dark rump” as described.

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3. Great Rosefinch (Carpodacus rubicilla)

You’re most likely to find this particular rosefinch in the Middle East; it primarily makes its home in countries like Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. These rosefinches are large and round, living in temperate scrubland and tundras—and while there are a few different types of great rosefinches out there, you might be able to identify them by the paler white coloring of the females and the dark pink coloration of the males.

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4. Pallas’s Rosefinch (Carpodacus roseus)

If you find yourself near Russia, Japan, or Mongolia, you might come across this particular rosefinch. It’s much stouter than the common rosefinch. An adult male is easy to identify by the silvery markings on its head. Its coloration is a bit more muted than some of its other more vibrant cousins—it looks like more of a dusky rose in color than a brighter pink or red—but don’t be fooled; this rosefinch is just as pretty as the others.

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5. Pink-Browed Rosefinch (Carpodacus rodochroa)

Found in the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent, usually in the Himalayas, the pink-browed rosefinch has been observed migrating to Bhutan, Tibet, India, Nepal, and even Pakistan. It earned its name due to the coloration on its brow; instead of white or duller coloring, this rosefinch boasts a darker pink color above its eyes.

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6. Sinai Rosefinch (Carpodacus synoicus)

This small pale pink, long-tailed rosefinch resides in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. This particular finch thrives in a desert climate. Males have pinkish breasts, while females are brownish with white bellies

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(Victor Tyakht/Shutterstock)