Black Rosy-FinchesBlack Rosy-Finches – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/320, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

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”!!

Lifers! Eureka!

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.