basic information

Brandt's Rosefinch

Leucosticte brandti (Bonaparte, 1850)

Жемчужный вьюрок | Інжурең құнақ
adult male

Tuyuksu. Ile Alatau.
© Askar Isabekov


Males and females of Brandt's Rosefinch are almost similar. Male in breeding plumage have dim-black forehead and part of crown, nape is brownish-grey, upper-neck and fore-mantle are greenish-brown. Back, rump and uppertail are plain pale-grey with slightly visible dark shafts of feathers. Sometimes dark color of mantle extends onto most part of back. Flight feathers are brownish with narrow white border on outer web; and with inner webs fluently lightened to border. Greater wing coverts are brownish but its outer webs are on ѕ of length is same color as back. Tips of small feathers of wing-fold have pinkish or pale-red edges, sometimes these pinkish edges are on rump too. Tail feathers are dark-brown with whitish edges of outer webs, on outer feathers these edges come to shaft. Underparts are pale-grey, undertail is some paler. Bill and legs are dark, almost black. Eyes are walnut-brown. On female upper- and underparts are usually paler, but some females are dark, not distinguished from males. Tips of small feathers of wing-fold are pale-orange, same tips (sometimes slightly visible) are on rump too. In contradistinction to male bill of female is pale or with pale parts in middle of bill. In fresh plumage (in autumn and winter) upperparts feathers have broad sandy-buff edges, which hid black on head. In winter bill is pale dark-tipped both on males and females. Juveniles are grayish-buff above with paler and greyer underparts. Tail and wings are as on adults. Sizes: males – wing 107-120, tail 68-78, tarsus 20.6-21.5; females – wing 103-114, tail 68-76, tarsus 20.8-22.4 mm. Weight: males 26.0-33.5, females 27.0-31.0.


Brandt's Rosefinch lives in highlands of Eastern and South-Eastern Kazakhstan. The detailed distribution in Kazakhstan please see in the section Subspecies.


Brandt's Rosy Finch is rare, in places fairly common resident. It inhabits upper part of alpine belt, where alpine meadows adjacent to moraines, stone scatterings, cliffs, glaciers (often over 3000 m). Finches go down to forage in low attitudes (down to 2600 m). In Zailiyskiy Alatau three nests found in cliff circus of Ozernyi peak on southern slope at attitudes 3800-4050 m in distance 80-2000 m one from another. Displaying and copulation observed in end of June. Nest is built in crack of rock or under stone, from moss, dry grass stems and leaves and is lined with hair and feathers. Clutches of 3-4 eggs founded in end June - early July. Both parents feed juveniles, flying to forage at distance up to several kilometres (may be more than 5 km). Juveniles fledge in early August. One brood per season. In autumn and winter Brandt's Rosy Finch lives in flocks sometimes up to one thousand birds.


Leucosticte brandti margaritacea (Madarasz, 1904)

    Description. Forehead is grey, crown is black. Back is darker, with more expressed brown shade than in brandti. Pink colour on rump is lack or slightly expressed. Pink on axillaries and terminal parts of feathers of flanks is expressed.
    Distribution. Breeds in highlands of Saur and probably Tarbagatay. In winter occurs in Southern Altai at Katon-Karagay.

Leucosticte brandti brandti (Bonaparte, 1850)

    Description. Forehead and crown are black, but black colour on crown extended to nape; back is lighter, with less expressed brown shade than in margaritacea. Rump, axillaries, flanks lack of pink colour.
    Distribution. Breeds in highlands of Tien Shan and Dzhungarskiy Alatau. In winter comes down to low altitude very rare, but observed 9 April 1950 in Chu-Iliyskiye Mts., 5 January 1963 and 11 March 1960 in Dzhabagly (foothills of Talasskiy Alatau). Near Kosmostanziya (Big Almaty Lake) flocks and small groups of birds observed 31 May and 4 June 2003 and one collected 16 February 1962.


"Птицы Казахстана" том 5. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1974. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.



Leucosticte brandti margaritacea
(Madarasz, 1904)
Leucosticte brandti brandti
(Bonaparte, 1850)

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Анна Ясько: Все же теньковка, на мой взгляд. У Ларса Свенссона (Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds) в описании теньковки есть упоминание, что некоторые птицы, особенно [....]


Нурлан Онгарбаев: Если других версий нет, переношу в Садовую.


Игорь Фефелов: Тоже за дерябу, расцветка физиономии очень характерная.

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