As leaves begin to fall in bursts of yellows and flaming reds, the promise of changing weather arrives. New seasons also mean changes for our bird neighbors! Fall is a busy time for songbird migration. Thousands of birds are leaving Salt Lake City until next spring, while other species are moving from higher elevations down into our valley.
One of the most anticipated bird species of winter are the Black Rosy-Finches. These are secretive little birds cloaked in dark browns and shadow black, with startling pink wings. Rosy-Finches are found high above the tree line of the Wasatch Mountains. As winter approaches, you might glimpse flocks heading down the mountain to find food in the city foothills and valley. During the rest of the year, these birds live in such remote areas that biologists still don’t know much about them! The Rosy-Finch Project is one effort that aims to learn more about the ecology and breeding habits of these birds. This community science project is led by the organization Sageland Collaborative and partners with Tracy Aviary.
Beginning in November, volunteers throughout Salt Lake City begin visiting local bird feeders in the hopes of finding these mysterious birds. If you’ve never seen a Rosy-Finch, why not add birdwatching to your fall/winter bucket list? The Rosy-Finch Project relies on the effort of community members – like you – to further our understanding of a unique and local Utah species.
To learn more about the Rosy-Finch project, visit: https://sagelandcollaborative.org/rosy-finch.