[order] Passeriformes | [family] Fringillidae | [latin] Carpodacus erythrinus | [UK] Rosefinch | [FR] Roselin cramoisi | [DE] Karmingimpel | [ES] Camachuelo Carminoso | [IT] Ciuffolotto scarlatto | [NL] Roodmus

Roodmus determination

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Medium-sized, bulbous-billed, quite stocky but long finch, with all plumages except adult male reminiscent of female House Sparrow and Corn Bunting. Adult male drenched scarlet on head, rump, and fore-underparts, female and immature dull olive-brown, softly streaked above and below. All females and immatures show quite marked double wing-bar. Epitome of Holarctic genus but beware confusion with vagrant or escaped congeners. Voice distinctive. Sexes dissimilar, some seasonal variation.

Extends into west Palearctic mainly in temperate continental climatic zone and in lowlands, but with disjunct population in foothills and mountains of S-E of region. Lowland form now extending much further W. Favoured habitats are thickets near forest edges, forest clearings, and patches of regrowth, groups of shrubs or isolated trees in humid meadows or river valleys, thickets of osier or bird-cherry, and sometimes orchards, or thorn hedges.

Carpodacus erythrinus is a widespread summer visitor to most of northern Europe, occurring more patchily farther south, with Europe accounting for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is very large (>3,000,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Although there were declines in a few countries-notably Finland-during 1990-2000, the species was stable in its Russian stronghold, and was stable or increased across much of Europe. It probably remained stable overall

Seeds, buds, and most other parts of plants, some invertebrates. Forages in grass and herbs, on arable land, in bushes, and in trees up to crown. Unlike other finches the Rosefinch feeds nestlings seeds instead of isects.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 kmē. It has a large global population, including an estimated 6,100,000-12,000,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Breeding starts from may to july depending on location. The nest site is built low in dense bush or young tree, generally well hidden close to trunk, sometimes in tangle of scrub, herbs, but only very rarely on ground. Nest is a untidy, tangled foundation of twigs, stems, and grass, often including dried flowers and stalks, with inner layer of finer grasses lined with rootlets, plant down, sometimes moss and lichen, an where available, often large amounts of horsehair. 4-6 eggs are laid, incubation lasts 11-12 days and is done by female only.

Resident and dispersive, also irruptive. In most years, birds disperse short distances in midsummer to find new feeding areas, moving in flocks in various directions but remaining within regular range. Local numbers may therefore fluctuate greatly from year to year, dependent on varying state of conifer seed-crops, especially spruce; timing of movement coincides with formation of new spruce cones. In irruption years (mostly involving L. c. curvirostra), birds move much further (up to 4000 km), mainly in one direction; such movements vary considerably in extent and duration, and tend to begin earlier and end later than in normal years. Irruptions probably result from high population levels coinciding with poor or moderate seed harvests; early departures suggest that crowding may sometimes alone stimulate movement. Birds frequently stay to breed in invasion areas, reinforcing local populations or colonising new sites; these settlements usually temporary, but occasionally permanent, e.g. colony in East Anglia (eastern England) dates from 1909 invasion.