Pale rosefinch

Pale rosefinch
Carpodacus synoicus
Photo by Avi Meir (Flickr)

Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae

This Asian species has a patchy distribution in the Middle East, in Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and into adjacent areas of Egypt. A separate population is found from northern Afghanistan to central and north-western China.

These birds are 13-14,5 cm long and has a wingspan of 18-20 cm. They weigh 21 g.

The pale rosefinch is mostly found in arid, rocky deserts in mountainous areas. They occur is wadis, gullies and ruins, passing to plateaus and dunes dotted with bushes in winter, but always in areas with access to water. They are found at altitudes of 2.000-3.350 m.

They eat various small seeds, leaves, shoots, buds and occasionally fruits. In areas where they have frequent contact with humans they become less timid and will even eat food scraps left by tourists.

Pale rosefinches breed in March-June. The nest is a cup of twigs and leaves with a soft lining, usually placed in a rock cavity, but sometimes on the ground. There the female lays 4-7 eggs which she mostly incubates alone for 13-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 15 days after hatching. Each pair raises 2 broods per season.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range. The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as scarce or locally common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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