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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Finches/Fringillidae

Common Rosefinch/Carpodacus erythrinus - Juvenile

L 13½-15 cm. Breeds in deciduous scrub and lush bushy areas, often on soggy overgrown lakeshores, in hazel stands, parks and smaller copses, along watercourses and field margins, and also bushy clearings in deciduous woods. Summer visitor (mostly end May-Aug), winters in India. A comparatively recent colonist from E. Has bred in Britain. Relatively bold, male often sings from exposed perch; species is otherwise mainly quiet and retiring, easily eludes detection. Food mostly seeds, shoots and buds, some insects. Nests low down in bush or thicker small tree.
IDENTIFICATION: Barely Bullfinch-sized, somewhat front-heavy finch with rather heavy breast and head/neck, but slim rear end and long tail. Bill hefty. Full adult male distinctive with its red colour and its song, but female and majority of younger males are more nondescript and harder to identify (and in fleeting view can be confused with Corn Bunting, female House Sparrow, pale young female Yellowhammer etc.). Note: bill shape; ‘colourless’ brown-grey plumage with little contrast between upperparts and underparts; rather uniform brown-grey head; diffuse dark mottling on crown, back and underparts; two narrow and rather indistinct pale wing-bars; pale tertial edges. No white on tail. - Adult male: Red on breast, crown, cheeks and rump; pale wing-bars often pinkish. - 1st-summer male: Majority are female-like, brownish-grey with no trace of red (and normally inseparable from females). Some acquire red feathers, however, and a few are adult-like; usually still identifiable by greyish-white wing-bars, scattered brown-grey feathers among the red, and sometimes by some worn wing- and tail-feathers. - female: All brownish-grey; wing-bars narrow and greyish-white. - Juvenile: Like female, but has fresher plumage with slightly warmer olive-brown tone and heavier dark spotting, and has buffish wing-bars.
VOICE: Call an upslurred whistle, ‘vüih’, at times a bit hoarse and rather Greenfinch-like but otherwise with slightly softer voice (cf. song); sometimes heard also from overhead migrants. Song a typically soft whistling consisting of a few rhythmic notes in glissando, e.g. ‘vidye-vüy-viidya’ or ‘vidyevüdya- vüy’. Birds can be called up by high wolf-whistles. When excited, e.g. when courting female, male also gives quiet, ecstatically chattering, twittering notes between the loud song verses.

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