© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Reima Kekäläinen, Kari Pihlaviita, M., W. & F. von Wright: Pohjolan linnut värikuvin. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Scarlet Rosefinch

Carpodacus erythrinus

  • Name also: Common Rosefinch
  • Family: Finches – Fringillidae
  • Appearance: A medium-sized finch with fairly evenly coloured plumage. Males are easily distinguished by their bright red heads, breasts and rumps. Females and juveniles are pale brown. Beak short and sturdy with a curved upper edge. Eyes small, dark and beady.
  • Size: Length 13.5–15 cm, weight 21–26 g.
  • Nest: In a bush or tree, made of dry grass stalks that stick out from the nest and dry Meadowsweet flowers, lined with root fibres and hair.
  • Breeding: 4–6 eggs laid in May–June, incubated by female for 11–13 days. Fledglings leave nest within 10–15 days.
  • Occurrence: Breeds in scrubland, farmland parks and gardens from Southern Finland to Lapland. Densities highest in Southern Finland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 110,000–130,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Mainly nocturnal. Leaves Finland July–August, returning May–June. Winters in SE Asia.
  • Diet: Seeds, buds, insects
  • Calls: A canary-like “choo-ee”. Song a chirpy refrain “hooee-choo-pee-too”, also said to resemble the phrase “pleased to meet you”. Males sing from a prominent perch, but Scarlet Rosefinches are otherwise shy and retiring.
  • Endangerment: Near threatened, protected in Finland. Globally Least concern.

Mature male Scarlet Rosefinches have deep crimson colouring on their heads, necks, breasts and rumps. Their backs, tail and wings are brown, and their bellies are whitish. Females and juvenile males lack any bright red colouring. Instead their plumage is greyish brown with indistinct streaks. They are best recognised by their thickset beaks, streaking on their chests, two pale streaks on their wings, and their small, dark brown beady eyes. Scarlet Rosefinches have dark brown legs and brown beaks.

Other species from the same family

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