Chinese White-browed Rosefinch

Chinese White-browed Rosefinch
Chinese White-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus dubius femininus, male, Sichuan, China, August. (Craig Brelsford)
Chinese White-browed Rosefinch
Male, Sichuan, August. (Craig Brelsford)
Chinese White-browed Rosefinch
Female, Sichuan, August. (Craig Brelsford)
Chinese White-browed Rosefinch
Female, Sichuan, July. (Craig Brelsford)

Chinese White-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus dubius dubius is resident eastern Tibet, eastern Qinghai, Gansu, and Ningxia; deserticolor Qaidam Basin and Burhan Buda Range, Qinghai; and femininus southeast Qinghai, western Sichuan, southeast Tibet, and northwest Yunnan. HABITAT Breeds alpine meadows and rocky shrubland, also below tree line at forest edge, between 2800-4600 m (9,190-15,090 ft.). In winter down to 2400 m (7,870 ft.). ID & COMPARISON Very similar to Himalayan White-browed Rosefinch C. thura. Male femininus has pinkish-white forehead and two-tone supercilium (pink above eye, white further behind). Lores crimson; ear coverts and cheeks pink. Crown and upperparts brown with blackish streaks. Rump pink, tail black. Wings mainly blackish-brown with pinkish wingbar on median coverts and buffish tips to greater coverts. Throat and underparts pink, with white frosting on throat; lower belly and vent white, with dark streaking on undertail coverts. Ssp. dubius and deserticolor slightly paler brown above. Female has long supercilium, warm brown/olive-yellow before eye, fading to buff and white posteriorly. Rump also warm brown/olive-yellow and heavily streaked. Crown and upperparts brown with heavy black streaking; cheek, throat, and underparts buff-white, also heavily streaked. Female smaller and has less heavy streaking on underparts and darker belly. First-winter and first-summer males intermediate between male and female. Differs from Himalayan White-browed Rosefinch by brown eye-stripe (joining brown on sides of nape); female has warm brown/olive-yellow wash across throat and upper breast, missing in Chinese. Male also similar to Pink-rumped Rosefinch C. waltoni, Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch C. davidianus, and Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch C. pulcherrimus, but those are smaller and less uniformly brown on crown and upperparts, with more obvious streaking. BARE PARTS Bill grey-brown; legs brown. VOICE Call a lamblike bleat, different from Himalayan, which recalls nervous laughter. — Craig Brelsford

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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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