The Rosy-Finch Project


The stunningly beautiful rosy-finches are difficult to study because they nest in nearly inaccessible crags at high elevation, and their wandering winter flocks can be unpredictable. The Rosy-Finch Project is interested in all rosy-finches with an emphasis on the Black Rosy-Finch and Brown-capped Rosy-Finch because they are identified by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as Species of Concern. The IUCN also lists both the Black Rosy-Finch and Brown-capped Rosy-Finch as Endangered.

The Working Group formed in 2021 to expand collaboration and coordination amongst researchers, managers and interested parties to help fill in significant data gaps. This group has expanded to include 85 members and helps address species research and conservation objectives. Group facilitators have included Janice Gardner of the Sageland Collaborative, and Carl Brown from Biodiversity Research Institute, with chairperson Tempe Regan of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The project aims to address some of the below topics:

  1. Seek funding to implement projects based on needs
  2. Develop strategies to conserve Rosy-Finches and their habitats
  3. Provide a forum of experts to respond to information needs
  4. Engage diverse stakeholders (e.g., scientists, managers, locals, and policy makers) using co-production and social science

Efforts to date include:

  • Developed a standardized rosy-finch monitoring protocol to address knowledge gaps in demographics
  • Coordinated and expand winter banding and feeder watch programs
  • Used a Structured Decision Making process which helped identify and rank potential conservation efforts

The Finch Research Network is excited about collaborating on this project in whatever way to support the mission.

To read more about Rosy-Finches please check out these blogs written by writer and rancher Dr. Lynne Spriggs O’Connor. She has written several blogs here for FiRN named Finches of Cloudland, and her upcoming memoir is titled Elk Love: A Montana Memoir, where she writes about her special relationship with the Rosy-Finches (and more) that have visited her and her husband over the years.