Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Plumbeous Sierra Finch (Carpodacus plumbea)


  • Species name: Plumbeous Sierra Finch
  • Scientific name: Carpodacus plumbea
  • Family: Fringillidae (Finches)
  • Order: Passeriformes (Songbirds)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Small Finch, about 14-16 cm (5.5-6.3 in) long with a wingspan of 22-25 cm (8.7-9.8 in).
  • Body shape: Slender and agile, with a long, pointed tail and a short, conical beak.
  • Plumage color:

Males: Slate blue upperparts, contrasting with their paler gray underparts and a faint pink wash on the chest. Wings have white bars.

Females: Duller overall than males, with brownish-gray upperparts and streaked underparts.

Short, conical beak, dark gray or black.

Long, dark pink legs.

Dark brown eyes.


  • Method of feeding: Forages on the ground and in vegetation, eating seeds, berries, and insects. May also glean seeds from cones.
  • Reproduction: Builds cup-shaped nests in coniferous trees, often near the trunk. Lays 3-5 pale blue eggs with dark speckles. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Resident in most of its range, but some individuals may move downslope in winter.
  • Communication: Thin, high-pitched calls and a simple but sweet song, sung by both males and females.


  • Habitat: High-elevation coniferous forests, especially subalpine meadows and rocky slopes.
  • Diet: Seeds, berries, insects, and other invertebrates.
  • Hunting methods: Forages on the ground and in vegetation, picking up seeds and berries or gleaning insects from leaves and branches. May also crack open seeds with their beaks.

Distribution: Found in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains of California and Oregon, USA.

Plumbeous Sierra Finch

The Plumbeous Sierra Finch, a feathered explorer painting the Mexican mountains with streaks of plum and grey, might seem like a simple resident of rocky slopes at first glance. But beneath its unassuming plumage and inquisitive chirps lies a treasure trove of surprising facts and adaptations that will transform this mountain maestro into a captivating avian acrobat, hidden feast master, and unexpected master of disguise in your eyes.

Masters of the Mountain Ballet: Forget clumsy hops; Plumbeous Sierra Finches reign supreme in the domain of windswept cliffs and sun-drenched boulders. Their powerful legs and surprisingly broad wings propel them across treacherous terrain with breathtaking agility, leaping and fluttering between rocks like feathered parkour experts on miniature trampolines. Imagine them as mountain dancers with built-in miniature jetpacks and an innate love for high-wire performances.

Hidden Feasting Technique: Don't underestimate their dietary flexibility! While pine seeds are a staple, Plumbeous Sierra Finches are opportunistic omnivores, readily adapting their menu to seasonal bounty. From juicy fruits and tender shoots to berries and even the occasional caterpillar, their varied appetite keeps them fueled for energetic foraging sessions. Think of them as feathered gourmands with built-in miniature buffets hidden within the rocky crevices.

Singing with Mountainous Spirit: Their chirps aren't just simple calls. Plumbeous Sierra Finches possess a rich and diverse repertoire, with clear, whistling songs, intricate trills, and even a signature "chee-chee-wee" duet call that echoes across the mountains. Their voices rise above the wind like feathered troubadours, serenading the barren landscapes with their mountainous spirit and adventurous souls.

Unexpected Masters of Disguise: They're not always visible targets. Plumbeous Sierra Finches have mastered the art of blending in with their surroundings, their plum and grey plumage mimicking the dappled sunlight on rocks and their stillness mirroring the weathered stones. This feathered chameleon, with its built-in miniature cloaking device, becomes almost invisible amidst the rugged mountain tapestry.

Champions of Resilience: They're not just fair-weather adventurers. Plumbeous Sierra Finches surprisingly have a strong tolerance for harsh conditions, able to withstand the thin air and frigid temperatures of high altitudes. Their efficient metabolism and ability to find food hidden in snowdrifts allow them to thrive where many other birds retreat, making them feathered polar explorers with built-in miniature furnaces and an unwavering determination.

Cultural Charmers: In Mexican cultures, the Plumbeous Sierra Finch is associated with freedom, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of the mountains. Its energetic displays and windswept songs inspire awe and respect, making it a treasured symbol of the region's rugged landscapes and the enduring spirit of its people.

Unexpected Regional Variations: Did you know? Not all Plumbeous Sierra Finches are the same! Different populations across the Sierra Madre Mountains boast subtle variations in plumage color and call patterns, adding a touch of feathered diversity to this adaptable species.