Family Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Least Concern

Tibetan Snowfinch (Montifringilla henrici)


French: Niverolle de Henri German: Tibetschneesperling Spanish: Gorrión de Henri
Other common names: Henri's Snowfinch

Eurhinospiza Henrici


, 1892,

“plateau du Tibet” = Dichi (Diti) east of the Tengri Nor, Xizang, China


Often treated as a race of M. nivalis, and sometimes of M. adamsi, but overlaps with latter without interbreeding in parts of its range. Differs from former in its heavily dark brown-streaked crown and especially upperparts (grey-tinged sandy brown with weak pale brown streaks in nivalis) (3); extensive warm brown vs unmarked breast sides and flanks (2); greatly reduced white in secondaries, producing a weaker wingpanel (2); and wing and tail feathers browner, less black (ns[1]). Monotypic.


E Tibetan Plateau from Qinghai Hu (NE Qinghai) S in band 100–250 km broad to Ku-la Shan, NE of Lhasa (Xizang).

Descriptive notes

17 cm; 40 g. Male has head and nape earth-brown; mantle, back and scapulars dark brown, large white patch on wing (noticeable in flight); small black bib; underparts grey,... read more


No detailed information. Generally similar to that of M. nivalis.


High-altitude steppe country from above trees to snow-line; 2500–4500 m.

Food and feeding

Seeds and plant matter; young reared on insects, both larval and adult forms of beetles (Coleoptera) and flies (Diptera), and arachnids. In... read more


Pairs take up nesting territories in Apr/May, breeding Jun–Aug. No other information.


No information.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Few data available. Reckoned to be fairly common.

Recommended citation

Summers-Smith, D. (2020). Tibetan Snowfinch (Montifringilla henrici). 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 22 February 2020).