Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)


French: Roselin cramoisi German: Karmingimpel Spanish: Camachuelo Carminoso
Other common names: Scarlet Rosefinch, Scarlet Grosbeak, Hodgson’s Rosefinch, Scarlet Finch(!)

Loxia erythrina


, 1770,

Volga and Samara Rivers, Russia


Forms a superspecies with C. purpureus. Geographical variation weak and, except for race roseatus, not well defined; races not always separable when in worn plumage. Previously published phylogeographical analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences, however, suggested existence of three recently diverged groups, corresponding to, respectively, Caucasus, CW Eurasia and NE Eurasia; recent re-evaluation of mtDNA data using coalescence methods, and addition of sequence data from a sex-linked gene, supported distinctiveness of Caucasian group but not the two other groups; overall, coalescence methods indicated lack of gene flow among the three groups and population expansion in CW Eurasian and NE Eurasian groups, the three groups corresponding to described races, further supporting their validity#R. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. e. erythrinus (Pallas, 1770) – breeds N, C & E Europe, W & C Siberia (E to Lena basin and Sayan Mts), NW Mongolia and, in S, from Croatia, Romania and N Ukraine E to N & C Kazakhstan; migrates to N India, lowland Nepal, Bhutan, N Myanmar and NW Thailand.
  • C. e. grebnitskii Stejneger, 1885 – breeds E Siberia and Russian Far East (Verkhoyanskiy Range and Kolyma basin E to Chukotka and Kamchatka, S to L Baikal area, Amurland and N Ussuriland), N Mongolia, NE China (Inner Mongolia), N Korea and N Sakhalin I; migrates to SE & S China S to N Thailand and N Vietnam.
  • C. e. kubanensis Laubmann, 1915 – breeds N & E Turkey, Caucasus, N & NE Iran and W & C Turkmenistan; migrates to N India.
  • C. e. ferghanensis (Kozlova, 1939) – breeds in mountains of E & SE Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and W China (W Xinjiang) S to Afghanistan, NW Himalayas (E to Kashmir) and W Pakistan; migrates to NW India.
  • C. e. roseatus (Blyth, 1842) – breeds C & E Himalayas from Ladakh E to NE India (probably to Arunachal Pradesh), possibly also N Myanmar, and Tibetan Plateau E to C & S China (Qinghai E to SW Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Sichuan, W Guizhou and NW Yunnan); winters India E to Myanmar, NW & C Thailand, N Laos and NW Vietnam (W Tonkin) and S & SE China.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm; 19–33 g. Medium-large rosefinch with stubby or bulbous bill and notched tail. Male nominate race breeding has forehead to nape bright scarlet (variable... read more


    Song a regularly and monotonously repeated (in breeding season), slowly rising whistled "weeja... read more


    Lowland to montane moist forests, woodlands and thickets of willows (Salix), alder (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly plant and tree seeds, buds, catkins, shoots, leaves, fruit and berries, also nectar; also insects and larvae and other arthropods.... read more


    Season May–Aug; one brood. Monogamous; occasionally polygamous in areas with apparent excess of immature (brown-plumaged) males; pair... read more


    Migratory and partially migratory. Most movements nocturnal, on spring passage also diurnal, alone... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common. Estimated European breeding population between 505,000 and 631,000 pairs, most in Finland and Belarus; up to 50,000 pairs... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. & Christie, D.A. (2017). Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 March 2017).