The adult female has pale brown head and face, whereas forehead to crown is tinged pale orange with dark streaks on crown and nape.
The upperparts are like the crown, but the blackish streaks are broader, whereas lower back and rump are pinkish to orange-red with narrow brown streaking. Upperwing and tail are dark brown with pale edges to feathers.
On the underparts, chin and throat are pinkish. Sides of throat to breast are warm buffish with narrow dark streaks. Rest of underparts is pale buff with dark streaks.
The bill is dark brown to blackish in winter.

The juvenile resembles adult female but it is duller. The plumage lacks the pink tinge.

The 1st winter male resembles adult female too, but the orange-buff head and face to chin and breast may be obscured by dark tips to feathers.  
The 1st summer male becomes pink to orange-pink on head, chin, throat, breast and rump, but the full adult plumage is not attained until the second winter.
The 1st winter female is usually browner than the adult female. 

The Pallas’s Rosefinch has two subspecies.
C.r. roseus (described above) breeds in C and E Siberia to N Mongolia and S Sea of Okhotsk coast. It migrates mainly to C Siberia.
C.r. portenkoi is found in N Sakhalin. It migrates to S Sakhalin and S to S Korea and N Japan.
This race has darker crimson crown, rump and underparts. Mantle and back are streaked blackish with pale feather edges. The flight-feathers are narrowly edged whitish to pale brown.

The Pallas’s Rosefinch breeds in conifer, birch and cedar forests in the northern taiga, alpine meadows, shrub thickets and forest undergrowth, up to 3,000 metres of elevation in sparsely vegetated mountain areas.
During winter, it frequents tall scrub, deciduous woods and thickets in lowland river valleys, and it is often seen near water and farmland.

The Pallas’s Rosefinch gives a short, subdued buzzy whistle “chee-chee”. Other calls include a soft whistle “fee” and a metallic “tsuiii”.
The song is fairly similar to these calls, with more rising and falling notes often repeated. This song is usually given during the aerial displays, but it is also uttered from within the canopy.

The Pallas’s Rosefinch feeds on various seeds, but shoots, buds and berries are also part of its diet. The chicks are fed with insects and small invertebrates.
It feeds in the vegetation, usually in trees and bushes, but also on the ground and in low vegetation. It picks up seeds from fallen cones.

It is often found in pairs and in small groups on passage and outside breeding season during which large flocks of up to 100 individuals can be seen. It also occurs in mixed-species flocks with Bramblings, sparrows and Emberizidae.

The Pallas’s Rosefinch is territorial and monogamous, and occasionally breeds semi-colonially. The male performs aerial displays accompanied by song. It flies over trees and bushes with slowly fluttering wings while spreading the tail. It nests in tree, usually a conifer, between 1 and 6 metres above the ground.

The Pallas’s Rosefinch is migratory and partly nomadic. The movements are mainly related to food resources, especially to the annual variations in cone crop of Siberian Pine.

The flight is often undulating. When flying in groups, the movement is compact with the birds alighting at the same time, before to fly away together.

The breeding season occurs between May and August.
The Pallas’s Rosefinch nests in a large, cup-shaped structure made with twigs, grass, plant fibres, roots, lichens, animal hair and feathers. The nest is built about 1-6 metres above the ground in the dense part of a tree, usually a conifer.

The female lays 4-5 pale blue to blue eggs with darker markings or not. The female incubates alone during two weeks, during which she is regularly fed by her mate.
Both parents feed the chicks usually with insects and small invertebrates.
This species may produce 1-2 broods per year.

The Pallas’s Rosefinch is usually scarce to locally common. On Sakhalin Island, it is affected by nest predation, especially by the Carrion Crow.  
The size of the population is unknown, but the numbers are suspected to be stable.
The Pallas’s Rosefinch is not globally threatened and currently evaluated as Least Concern.

Fr: Roselin rose
Ang: Pallas’s Rosefinch
All: Rosengimpel
Esp: Camachuelo de Pallas
Ita: Ciuffolotto scarlatto di Pallas
Nd: Pallas' Roodmus
Sd: sibirisk rosenfink


William Price
PBase-tereksandpiper & Flickr William Price

Text by Nicole Bouglouan


HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD Vol 15 by Josep del Hoyo-Andrew Elliot-David Christie - Lynx Edicions – ISBN: 9788496553682

Ottaviani, M. (2008) Monographie des Fringilles (fringillinés – carduélinés) – Histoire Naturelle et photographies, Volume 1. Editions Prin, Ingré, France, 488 p.


FINCHES AND SPARROWS by Peter Clement, Alan Harris and John Davis – Helm Identification Guides – ISBN: 0713652039

Birds of Central Asia De Raffael Ayé, Manuel Schweizer, Tobias Roth - Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012 – ISBN: 1408142716, 9781408142714 – 336 pages

Avibase (Denis Lepage)
Birdlife International

HBW Alive

Birding Mongolia

South Dakota Birds and Birding – (Terry L. Sohl)


Home page

Page Family Fringillidae

Page Passeriforme Order

Summary Cards


Pallas’s Rosefinch
Carpodacus roseus

Passeriformes Order – Fringillidae Family

The Pallas’s Rosefinch is a medium-sized, rather stocky rosefinch found in Siberia, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea and Mongolia. It is migratory or partly nomadic, moving mainly according to food resources. It usually frequents boreal forests and shrubland where it feeds on various seeds, buds and sometimes berries, but during the breeding season, the chicks are fed with insects.    
The Pallas’s Rosefinch is described as scarce to locally common, but the population is suspected to be stable. The species is not globally threatened for the moment.

Length: 16-17 cm
Weight: 21-35 g

The Pallas’s Rosefinch adult male of nominate race has bright pink on head, rump and underparts, contrasting with pinkish-white forehead and throat, conspicuous double pinkish-white wingbar, heavily streaked blackish mantle and scapulars, and brownish wings and tail.
The bill has brown upper mandible, whereas the lower mandible is pale yellow. The eyes are blackish brown. Legs and feet are reddish-brown.