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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Finches/Fringillidae

Desert Finch/Rhodospiza obsoleta - Adult

L 13-14 cm. Breeds in open, dry, usually flat country with scattered trees and bushes, often by irrigated cultivations, in gardens, at oases etc. (thus, despite name, not a real desert bird!). Largely resident, making short dispersive movements outside breeding season. Often appears in flocks. Unlike Trumpeter Finch, readily perches in trees, but food, seeds, is taken mostly on ground. Nests in fork of bush or tree.
IDENTIFICATION: A sandy-coloured or grey-buff finch with characteristic wing and tail markings: black, finely white-edged primary tips, and on closed wing a large white and pink panel broken only by black alula and black primary-covert tips. - male: Tertials black, narrowly edged white. Bill black. Lores black on adult, pale on 1st-winter. - female: Tertial centres, bill and lores grey-brown.
VOICE: Three often heard calls: commonest a simmering ‘drrr’r’ falling at end, also a bent ‘tvoi’ (or ‘tvio’) sounding like something between Common Rosefinch and Tree Sparrow, and finally a lilting ‘dveüüt’ recalling both Twite and Rock Sparrow. Song a soft, halting series of short, uneven notes, sometimes with interwoven drawn-out buzzing notes almost like those of Trumpeter Finch.

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