Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Asian Rosy-finch (Leucosticte arctoa)


French: Roselin brun German: Rosenbauch-Schneegimpel Spanish: Pinzón montano pardo

Passer arctous


, 1811,

Russian Altai


Often treated as conspecific with all of L. tephrocotis, L. atrata and L. australis; recent analysis of mitochondrial DNA indicates close genetic similarity among all four#R. Races rather distinctive, but characters shared between them, e.g. little-known sushkini has white wings of nominate but pink underparts of more easterly taxa#R. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. a. arctoa (Pallas, 1811) – Altai Rosy-finch – SC Russian Siberia (C, S & SE Altai, W Sayan Mts, Tannu-Ola Mts), NE Kazakhstan and NW Mongolia; winters (possibly breeds) NW China (NW Xinjiang).
  • L. a. cognata (Madarász, 1909) – Tuva Rosy-finch – Siberia (E Sayan E to C Baikal Mts) and N Mongolia.
  • L. a. sushkini Stegmann, 1932 – Khangai Rosy-finch – Khangai (Hangayn) Mts, in WC Mongolia.
  • L. a. gigliolii Salvadori, 1869 – Baikal Rosy-finch – SE Siberia from N Baikal Mts E to W Stanovoy Mts (SW Yakutia); winter records in N Mongolia#R.
  • L. a. brunneonucha (J. F. Brandt, 1842) – Kolyma Rosy-finch – Russian Far East and NE Siberia (from Lena Delta S to C Stanovoy Mts, E to Koryak Mts, Kamchatka, probably S Chukotskiy Peninsula and N Kuril Is) and S to NE China (NE Inner Mongolia and W Heilongjiang); non-breeding NE China (S Heilongjiang S to Hebei), Korea, Sakhalin and Japan (S to C Honshu).
  • Descriptive notes

    14–18 cm; 22–48 g. Large and large-billed, stout finch, variably blackish to buff-brown and streaked or washed pinkish, with white or pinkish edges of flight... read more


    Song, from ground, top of rock or during undulating circular flight, a slow descending series of... read more


    Breeds on barren and treeless montane plateaux, alpine tundra, moraine at edges of snowfields and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly seeds, buds, stamens and shoots; some invertebrates. Seeds include those of grasses (Gramineae), knotweed (Polygonaceae), sedges (... read more


    Poorly known; few nests found. Season Jun–Aug, from Jul in coldest climatic areas; one brood. Solitary or loosely colonial. Nest... read more


    Migratory, partial migrant and altitudinal migrant; may be entirely sedentary in breeding area... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common in C Altai, and occasionally abundant in wintering area of Russian Far East and Mongolia; otherwise uncommon or locally common... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. & Arkhipov, V. (2020). Asian Rosy-finch (Leucosticte arctoa). 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 29 February 2020).