Pink-browed Rosefinch

Pink-browed Rosefinch    Carpodacus rodochroa


  • Carpodacus : Greek word  karpos- fruit; dakos –biter  { Fruit eater/biter}
  • Rodochroa: Greek word rhodon-rose;  khros – colour

 Vernacular Names: Nepal: Gulab tuti, Gulab chiriya

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas in India.

Description:  Size of 14-15 cm, wt. of 16-20g. It is a Medium-sized, slender Rosefinch with prominent face pattern, pointed bill and notched tail. Male has forehead and long supercilium tapering on side of nape, bright pink with feather tips pearly or frosted pink in fresh plumage, lores and eyestripe broadly dark red, crown deep reddish-pink and sometimes with mauve tinge, finely streaked blackish, nape and side of neck paler and unstreaked; upper­parts reddish-brown, broadly edged bright or deep pink and streaked broadly blackish, upper mantle with paler, more grey-brown fringes; rump unstreaked bright pink, uppertail-coverts duller or browner, washed pink; tail dark brown, feathers finely edged pinkish-brown; upperwing dark brown, median coverts fringed pinkish, greater coverts edged and tipped pale pink, alula and flight-feathers edged paler or warm brown, tertial edges buff-brown with pink tinge; cheek and ear-coverts to throat and upper breast deep pink or pinkish-red, rear ear-coverts with fine paler pink or frosted white tips, slightly tinged mauve on breast, belly and, lower belly to undertail-coverts white or pale pinkish; iris black; bill brownish-horn, paler brown edges of upper mandible and base of lower mandible, darker culmen and tip; legs pale brown to brownish-flesh. Female lacks pink in plumage; has forehead pale buffish, crown to upper nape darker greyish-buff, streaked dark brown or blackish, nape and upperparts pale buff-brown, streaked heavily blackish-brown, rump less heavily streaked; face pale buff or buff-brown, upper ear-coverts finely streaked darker, broader streaks on side of neck, thin pale yellow to buffish-yellow supercilium from over lores fading above ear-coverts; tail dark brown, edged paler buff-brown, upperwing-coverts edged warm buff-brown, tipped paler buff, primary coverts and flight-feathers finely edged buff or pale brown, slightly warmer on fringes of tertials; chin and throat pale buff, becoming warmer buffish-brown on breast and flanks, heavily streaked dark brown on lower throat, breast and flanks, paler belly to undertail-coverts with thinner streaks; bare parts much as for male.

Habitat: It is found  in Undergrowth of lower montane and submontane forests, including subalpine areas with sparse scattered trees. It breeds at a height of 2745–4540. In non-breeding season at lower levels of 1200–2700 m.

Food Habits: It eats plant and tree seeds  and berries, grass and small herbs. It feeds quietly or unobtrusively on ground, frequently at edges of melting snow patches, under bushes and also at forest edges; hops or shuffles on ground. Fairly tame, but inconspicuous and easily overlooked, taking flight only as last resort. It forages in pairs and in small groups of up to eight individuals; in non-breeding season may form slightly larger loose flocks, often of single sex.

Breeding Habits: They breed in July-Aug in India. The nest is built by female. The nest is a compact cup of twigs, dry plant stems, fibers and grass, also birch-bark strips, moss and animal hair, placed above ground in bush or sometimes on horizontal branch of pine sapling. It lays a clutch of 4-5 eggs and incubation is done by female.