Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch

Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch Carpodacus davidianus ranges from Tibet to Hebei, with waltoni in southeastern Tibet; argyrophrys from eastern Tibet and northwestern Yunnan north to Qinghai, Ningxia, and western Inner Mongolia; and davidianus in northern Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, Beijing, and southeastern Inner Mongolia. Breeds in high-altitude juniper, rhododendron and oaky scrub, to 4650 m; in winter to 2100 in similar bushy habitat, often around cultivation and human settlements, when can be confiding. Formerly considered conspecific with Himalayan beautiful rosefinch; also very similar to pink-rumped rosefinch. Ground colour is bright pink, rump and vent whitish-pink. Crown, nape and back streaked brownish-black and grey. Supercilium deep red before eye, broadening and fading to pink behind eye. Brown eyestripe. Pink cheeks and supercilium often with white frosting. Face otherwise crimson, fading to pink on throat and breast, fading still more to off-white on belly. Flanks buff-brown with streaking, undertail coverts also streaked. Male waltoni is slightly paler than argyrophrys and davidianus. Female buff-brown from crown to upperparts with light brown streaking on crown and heavier black streaking on upperparts. Has short, buffish supercilium and light-brown tips to tertials and wing coverts. Face grey-brown, with thin brown streaks on face; grey-brown on throat and breast, with broader brown streaking; flanks weakly streaked. Off-white, almost unstreaked belly; undertail coverts streaked. Female has less obvious streaking on rump than pink-rumped, and may have more contrasting dark earcoverts and pale supercilium. Differences among beautiful females beyond the scope of this guide.
Pink-rumped rosefinch is smaller with slightly smaller bill and shorter tail, and male lacks buff-brown flanks. Himalayan beautiful rosefinch has darker streaks on upperparts, slightly paler pink hues, and shorter wings. Male also quite similar to Chinese and Himalayan white-browed, but those are larger and more uniformly brown on crown and upperparts, with less obvious streaking. Pink-browed rosefinch has brighter forehead, darker pink rump and less heavy streaking on browner back. Stout bill grey-horn above, pale horn below; feet greyish-pink. Shrill, metallic call. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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