Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2022-65

Common name:

Brown-capped Rosy-Finch

Scientific name: Leucosticte australis
Date: 27 November 2022
Time: 1130
Length of time observed: Less than one minute by itself. About forty minutes with the other Rosy-Finches.
Number: 1
Age: unknown
Sex: unknown
Location: LaSal Mountains, Loop Road, Pinhook Overlook
County: Grand
Latilong: 38.5602047, -109.2903614
Elevation: 7,620'
Distance to bird: 25 yards
Optical equipment: 8x42 Nikon binocular
Weather: 32F Mostly cloudy. BWS 2 Light breeze.
Light Conditions: Bright from overhead sun. Some shade from passing clouds.
Description:        Size of bird: Small
(Description:)       Basic Shape: More horizontal than vertical 'solid' body.
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Various brown tones.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Strong, seed-cracking, cone shape.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Cone shaped yellowish bill with dark tip. Dark forehead blending into grayish-brownish cap. Neck and nape warm brown. Back same warm brown on edges of feathers, centers of feathers rich brown. Breast warm brown.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  "Chew" calls heard when the whole flock was in the air.
Behavior: Actively feeding on weed seeds on a rocky slope.
Habitat: Somewhat steep slopes, rocky outcrops. Pinyon Pine, Juniper and Gambel's Oak had burned in early 2000's. Trees largely gone, mostly mixed grass, low shrub, weeds.
Black-top road runs thru it.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch had very obvious gray crown.
Black Rosy-Finches had obvious black or gray plumage.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
In 1991, I wintered in Slickrock CO and had a flock of Brown-capped Rosy-Finches come to my bird feeder.
I have seen a couple distant flocks of Black Rosy-Finches near the Book Cliffs in Grand County 2017-19, and saw Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches for the first time on 8 JAN 2020. Between 9 JAN 2020 and 19 MAR 2021 I observed Brown-capped Rosy-Finches 18 times near this location.
References consulted: National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America,
Birds of North America ( from Cornell Lab of Ornitholog
Description from: From memory
From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Steve Heinrich
Observer's address: 238 Miller Lane Castle Valley Utah 84532-9613
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Glenn Kincaid
Date prepared: 29 NOV 2022
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: