One of the biggest surprises for me on my recent trip to southern Utah was coming across a “bouquet” of 500 or more Black Rosy-Finches that were foraging along the side of Utah State Highway 24. The lighting was horrible and at first I could not ID the birds because of them being in the shade plus the fact that the finches were moving very quickly but as soon as I was able to scope them out with my lens I said “Black Rosy-Finches”!!
During the breeding season Black Rosy-Finches (Leucosticte atrata) are found at elevations of over 10,000 feet but they do winter at lower elevations and the flock I saw apparently hadn’t started to move to their breeding grounds. As I mentioned the birds moved very quickly and stayed primarily in the shade so I wasn’t able to get close up images or even images of high quality but I was entranced by the small birds and hope that one day I will be able to get the images I now long for of these small beautiful birds.