Family Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Least Concern

White-rumped Snowfinch (Onychostruthus taczanowskii)


French: Niverolle de Taczanowski German: Weißbürzel-Erdsperling Spanish: Gorrión de Taczanowski
Other common names: White-rumped Ground-sparrow

Montifringilla taczanowskii


, 1876,

Tetunga and Koko Nor Steppe, west China




SE Ladakh and S & E Tibetan Plateau E to NE Qinghai (Qilian Shan and area around Qinghai Hu), S Gansu and NW Sichuan, in C China, and S to N Nepal and Sikkim.

Descriptive notes

15–17cm; 29–36 g. Large ground-sparrow with stout and rather pointed bill and long legs. Crown and nape are grey-brown, paler on forehead and supercilium, lores... read more


Call a sharp and resounding "duid duid". Song based on this call, a short, loud "... read more


Barren alpine rocky areas and flat steppe on dry edges of bogs; associated with colonies of pika (... read more

Food and feeding

Small seeds and insects. Food items collected from nestlings in the NE Tibetan plateau consisted entirely of arthropods; before mid-May... read more


Breeds in solitary pairs or in small groups. Strongly territorial; has undulating display-flight, also steep climb and diving descent. Nest... read more


Mainly sedentary; some seasonal short-distance movements to lower altitudes in winter.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common in much of range; scarce in S, e.g. Ladakh and Nepal.

Recommended citation

Summers-Smith, D. (2020). White-rumped Snowfinch (Onychostruthus taczanowskii). 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 19 February 2020).