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Rosy Finches Project


Hello Rosy-Finch Enthusiasts!


It’s that time of year again when the temperatures start to drop, snow begins to fall, and the Rosy-Finches begin to visit our feeders. This winter, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is going to continue our efforts to monitor Rosy-Finches throughout the state and we need your help! Over the past 18 months, trained banders have attached colored bands to the legs of Rosy-Finches in various portions of the state and now that the birds are beginning to flock up, we hope that you will be able to report any banded birds you see at your feeders. 


What should you be looking for? The vast majority of our banded birds will have a small metal band placed around both their right and left legs. The band is free to move up and down as well as turn left and right and will most likely sit just above the foot. It is often easiest to see the bands when the birds are walking on the ground, or perched on a hanging feeder. Of the two bands, one will be silver, while the other will be a color that we have associated with a particular region of the state (see below for the list of possible colors). Even though you may not always be able to get good views of both legs we are still interested in hearing that you have a banded bird visiting your feeders!


  • Where to report? Please send an email to rosyfinchreports AT

  • What to report?

    • Date

    • Location (as specific as you are willing to provide if a private residence)

    • Number of total Rosy-Finches in the flock (estimate)

    • Species of banded Rosy-Finch

    • Number of Banded Rosy-Finches

    • Color of RIGHT leg band (Red, Silver, Black, Blue, Green, Purple, Gold)

    • Color of LEFT leg band (Red, Silver, Black, Blue, Green, Purple, Gold)


Our researchers will be able to use this information to track the movements of our banded birds, begin to understand flock dynamics, and estimate population size and survivorship. Even in the short time we’ve been tracking these birds, we’ve had several exciting findings and with your help we can learn so much more about these remarkable alpine birds. Please share this message with any neighbors or friends that may keep bird feeders so that we can collect even more sightings.


If you have any questions about reporting banded birds, the details of the research we are conducting, or Rosy-Finches in general, please do not hesitate to ask. 


Thank you for your efforts and willingness to assist our project!


Aaron Yappert

Assistant Bander

San Juan Mountains

UPDATES - 05/2019

223 rosy finches were banded here from mid-December 2018 to mid-February 2019. 
Mid-February, 1356 rosies had been banded at the 5 banding sites statewide.  Banding is planned to resume next winter.

The banding in EM had to be stopped earlier than planned due to a mob of pine siskin that moved in and stayed.  

The rosies persist, 200-300 on snowy days, even this late in the season.
They’ll move on to their nesting grounds in the high country soon, but will be back by mid-late October.

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