Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Plain Mountain-finch (Leucosticte nemoricola)


French: Roselin de Hodgson German: Waldschneegimpel Spanish: Pinzón montano de Hodgson
Other common names: Hodgson's Mountain-finch

Fringilauda nemoricola


, 1836,

central and northern Nepal


Geographical variation somewhat clinal; races weakly differentiated. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. n. altaica (Eversmann, 1848) – S Russia (C & SE Altai E to SW Baikal area) and W Mongolia S in mountains to E & S Kazakhstan (Tien Shan), NW China (NW Xinjiang S to NW Xizang), Tajikistan and NE Afghanistan, thence E in NW Himalayas of N Pakistan and N India (Uttarakhand).
  • L. n. nemoricola (Hodgson, 1836) – Tibetan Plateau E to C & S China (E Qinghai, Gansu, S Shaanxi, W Sichuan and NW Yunnan), and Himalayas from C Nepal E to at least W Arunachal Pradesh; recorded, status uncertain, in NE Myanmar.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 18–25·5 g. Medium-sized to large, slender, brownish finch with pointed bill, long wings and notched tail. Nominate race breeding has head brown... read more


    Song, usually from top of boulder or prominent rocky perch, a short series of sharp twittering... read more


    Submontane and montane hillsides. Breeds above tree-line on open boulder-strewn ridges, slopes and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly seeds of grasses and alpine herbs; occasionally small invertebrates. Seeds include those of dandelions (Taraxacum), ... read more


    Season Jun–Aug; one brood. Solitary or loosely colonial. Displaying male on ground in front of female raises and holds both wings... read more


    Resident, and partial or altitudinal migrant. In non-breeding season, in Oct to early Nov, or late... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant in most of range; rare in NE (Tuva Republic area of S Siberia).

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. & Arkhipov, V. (2020). Plain Mountain-finch (Leucosticte nemoricola). 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 February 2020).