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Species Guide
A photo of a Pale Rockfinch (Carpospiza brachydactyla)
Pale Rockfinch

Pale Rockfinch

Carpospiza brachydactyla

The Pale Rockfinch, or Pale Rock Sparrow (Carpospiza brachydactyla), presents itself as a modestly adorned sparrow, unique in its genus Carpospiza. Some taxonomic discussions have placed it within the genus Petronia, and others have noted finch-like qualities, but the structure of its tongue reveals its true sparrow lineage.

Identification Tips

This small sparrow can be recognized by its pale plumage, which blends seamlessly with the dry habitats it frequents. Its anatomy, particularly the tongue, bears the hallmarks of the sparrow family, distinguishing it from finch relatives.


The Pale Rockfinch is at home in subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, as well as temperate grasslands, where it can be observed flitting amongst the sparse vegetation.


The bird's range is quite extensive, spanning from eastern Turkey through to Afghanistan, dipping southward into the Arabian Peninsula, and reaching as far as Ethiopia in northern Africa.


The Pale Rockfinch's breeding patterns are intricately tied to its environment, with factors such as temperature and the abundance of grasshoppers and beetles influencing its presence. The density of these birds is closely linked to the availability of suitable habitat.


Specific habitat characteristics are crucial for the breeding of the Pale Rockfinch. The species selects breeding sites based on the temperature and the abundance of certain insects, which are vital for nourishment during this period.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Pale Rockfinch is influenced by the availability of grasshoppers and beetles in its environment, indicating a preference for these insects.

Conservation status

Currently, the Pale Rockfinch is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. However, its population faces threats from the expansion of human settlements and agricultural practices, which encroach upon and diminish its natural habitat.

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