The Mongolian Finch, Rhodopechys mongolicus (also known as Mongolian Trumpeter Finch) is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae.
The Mongolian Finch is a small, long-winged bird. It has a large head and short, thick greyish-yellow bill. In breeding plumage, males have a pink flush to their face and underparts, and there are extensive white and pink areas in the wings, a pattern that is also present but less marked in non-breeding plumage.
Status, distribution and habitat
This bird is a resident from eastern Turkey, across the Caucasus, east into Central Asia and on to western China and Mongolia and south into the Kashmir. Mountainous areas of stony desert or semi-arid scrub and rocky slopes are favoured for breeding.
The species is native in the following 14 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. It is a vagrant in Bahrain.
In Turkey, the species' occurrence in the far east of the country is well-documented, e.g. Kirwan & Conrad (1995), Roselaar (1995).
Kirwan et al. (2000) published information suggesting that the species' Turkish range may be more extensive, including a record in 1999 from Sivrikaya in the Pontic mountains, 100km northwest of the core Turkish range, and one in 1982 from Sultanbabadagi, Tunceli, 200km west of its core range. They also suggest that an adult with a fledged juvenile seen on the eastern side of Lake Tuz in 1967, and identified at the time as Desert Finches, may actually have been Mongolian Finches.
The first Mongolian Finch in Armenia was recorded in 2001 near Vedi. Further birds were seen here in 2002.
The species was first recorded in Azerbaijan at Bulgan in early May 1912 (Beme 1926) Bulgan is in the Nakhchivan region, which is separated from the main part of the country by a strip of Armenian territory; Kirwan & Konrad (1995) incorrectly list this site as being in Armenia. Beddard et al. (2002) were unaware of any records from the main part of the country.