A Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches. We have also put together a list of fun Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch t-shirts, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches
These magnificent songbirds are the most widespread rosy-finch species. They breed and thrive from western Alaska south to California and the high mountains of Montana. They also extend to the Pribilof and Aleutian Islands. Since they breed in very remote areas, they have little to no contact with humans hence seeming fearless. Some of their distinctive features include:
Description and Identification
These birds have short bodies that are around 5.5 – 8.3 inches long. They have short,
conical bills that are yellow in color, along with relatively short tails. Adults have rich brown
plumages that are suffused with pink on their bellies. Their black and pink wings can span up
to 13 inches as well. Their namesake derives itself from their gray heads that have a few
tufts of black feathers above and below their beaks. There is very little sexual dimorphism
exhibited, with females bearing similar plumages but with less extensive pink. Juveniles tend
to be brownish all over with grayish wings and dusky bills.
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch Color Pattern
They are primarily dark brown with pink underparts, wings, and rump. They have a black forehead with gray cheek patches visible at the back of the head. Their black bill turns yellow in winter. Even though juveniles are similar to female adults, they are duller and lack pink underparts, a black forehead, and a gray crown.
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch Size
They are chunky songbirds that are sparrow-sized or slightly smaller.
The relative size of both sexes
- Length range: 5.5-8.3 in (14-21 cm)
- Weight: 0.8-2.1 oz (22-60 g)
- Wingspan range: 13.0 in (33 cm)
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch Behavior
They forage primarily on the ground or snow surfaces, picking insects. Sometimes they fly capturing insects on the wing. In courtship, the males perform several displays such as half-spreading and lowering their wings.
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch Food
Like most other finches, these Gray-crowned birds mainly feed on seeds and insects that
they find by foraging on open ground. They mainly search for windblown insects, but on
occasion capture them in flight as well. Their plant foods include seeds of bear-grass, wild
grass, spring beauty, willow-weed, chickweed, water chickweed, cinquefoil, sea parsley, wild
parsnip, mustard, brook saxifrage, cut-leaved daisy, Russian thistle, sunflower, crowberry,
and many kinds of species of rushes, sedges, buttercups, bluebells, and spoon works. Their
insect prey is mainly consumed during summer and mostly consists of flies, craneflies,
mayflies, ground beetles, leaf beetles, beach beetles, weevils, owlet moths, and scale
Their diet is mainly made up of insects and seeds. In winter, they entirely feed on seeds of weeds and grasses. In summer, insects form the bulk of their diet. They feed on grasshoppers, beetles, wasps, bees, etc. They can supplement the diet with the buds and leaves of various plants.
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch Habitat
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches thrive in alpine and tundra areas above treelines in the rocky
environments of Alaska’s Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. Their breeding grounds are in
extremely high elevations around glaciers, talus, rock piles, rocky hillsides, meadows, and
cliffs. Although they do not make regular migrations, they move in response to snow levels
during the winter. During winter storms, they can be found in human settlements around
feeding stations, trees, buildings, fences, and utility wires.
They predominantly breed in alpine areas, preferably near cliffs, glaciers, talus, and rockpiles. These rosy finches winters in open fields, towns, roadsides, shrublands, agricultural fields, and rocky hillside.
Range and Migration
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches are passerine birds that are found in the mountainous regions
of Alaska, western Canada, and the north-western United States. They are permanent
residents who are native to these alpine habitats but move to lower slopes during the winter
in search of lower snow levels and more food sources. These birds have been elusive to
scientists due to the extreme climates that they breed in, making them particularly difficult to
observe during breeding seasons.
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch Lifecycle
The females lay 4-5 eggs or more and incubate them for 14 days. The incubation is carried out by the female only. The hatchlings are fed by both parents and leave the nest after 14-15 days. They produce 1-2 broods per year depending on the populations.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Gray-crowned Rosy-Finchs
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Gray-crowned Rosy-Finchs are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch T-shirts
If you love the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch.We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Gray-crowned Rosy-Finchs
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Gray-crowned Rosy-Finchs
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.