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Tracking the Black Rosy-Finch: Hidden Treasure and Higher Learning in North America's Alpine Zone

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male Black Rosy-Finch

Male Black Rosy-Finch feeding at edge of snowfield, high in the Rocky Mountains. The adult bird's bill changes from yellow to black for the mating season.

Credit: Douglas Herr, © 2002 www.wildlight.photo.com 2002.


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Black Rosy-Finch nest site

Black Rosy-Finch nest site (red circle) in the Uinta Mountains, Utah. Maureen Ryan sets up a climbing anchor so she can hang with her hands free and swing across the cliff face to pass the nestlings to David McDonald for leg banding and blood-sampling.

Credit: David B. McDonald, University of Wyoming

 

Female Black Rosy-Finch and nest

Female Black Rosy-Finch on the first nest found by Maureen Ryan in Uinta Mountains, Utah. "She didn't budge despite the fact that I kept blinding her with the flash as I tried to get a decent photo from ten inches outside the crack where the nest was hidden," recalled Ryan.

Credit: Maureen Ryan, June 30, 2002.


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Black Rosy-Finch hatchling

Seldom seen! Black Rosy-Finch hatchling in David McDonald's hand from second nest found by Maureen Ryan, on the Beartooth Plateau, WY. Black Rosy-Finches are born "altricial," featherless and completely helpless at birth.

Credit: David B. McDonald, University of Wyoming

 

Maureen Ryan crosses a snowfield

Maureen Ryan crosses a snowfield on the Beartooth Plateau, WY (a mile from the MT border) to reach the site where she found a second Black Rosy-Finch nest, off to the right in the cliff face, at an elevation of 10,500-11,000 feet.

Credit: David B. McDonald, University of Wyoming


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