Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Beautiful Rosefinch (Carpodacus pulcherrimus)


French: Roselin superbe German: Schmuckgimpel Spanish: Camachuelo bonito

Propasser pulcherrimus

F. Moore

, 1856,



Formerly included race waltoni, but this now found to be conspecific with C. eos (as HBW treated it), thereby becoming C. waltoni. Race davidianus recently given species rank, differing from nominate and argyrophrys by its cleaner, brighter, more contrasting underparts; broader, more obvious supercilium; different wing formula; squarer vs well-forked tail; shorter tail; larger bill; and notably different calls#R#R (morphological characters unverifiable for lack of access to specimens). Split accepted#R claiming corroboration by molecular study#R, but study in question does not conclude that davidianus merits species rank although it maps a record of race argyrophrys far inside the range of davidianus, which if correct certainly suggests two species. Further research required. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. p. pulcherrimus (F. Moore, 1856) – Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch – C Himalayas from N India (Himachal Pradesh) E to SW China (S Xizang) and (perhaps non-breeding) Bhutan.
  • C. p. argyrophrys Berlioz, 1929 – W & SW Mongolia and N & WC China (W Inner Mongolia and Ningxia, S to E Qinghai, NE Xizang, N & W Sichuan and NW Yunnan).
  • C. p. davidianus A. Milne-Edwards, 1865 – Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch – EC China (SE Inner Mongolia, N Hebei, Shanxi and N Shaanxi).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm; 17·5-21 g. Medium-sized, slender rosefinch with long tail slightly forked. Male nominate race has lowermost forehead to lores and chin deep crimson, pale... read more


    Song either undescribed or very seldom given. Call a soft or subdued "trip", "trilp... read more


    Montane and submontane forest edges, rhododendrons (Rhododendron), oak (Quercus... read more

    Food and feeding

    Variety of small seeds and buds. Forages on the ground and in low vegetation around bushes and in shrubs. Often spends long periods perched... read more


    Season Jun–Sept. Nest a cup mostly of grass, plant fibres, roots, bark strips and animal hair, placed low down in shrub, e.g. juniper... read more


    Partial altitudinal migrant. Most make post-breeding descent to lower elevations, where present... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common or locally common in most of range; uncommon in Bhutan, where possibly only a non-breeding visitor.

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Beautiful Rosefinch (Carpodacus pulcherrimus). 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 January 2020).