Sandfinch

Sandfinch
Desert Finch.jpg
Scientific classification
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C. roacarius
Binomial name
Carduelis roacarius
Uanax, 1884

The sandfinch (Carduelis roacarius), also known as the Andamonian desert finch or Ternosi desert finch, is a member of the finch family found in Txekrikar, southeast Trellin and west and southern Andamonia. It is known for its distinctive rosy wings. Its specific name, Roacarius, describes its residence on the fringes of Andamonia's Rohocar Desert.

Life

The sandfinch feeds mainly on seeds from a range of plants, both wild and cultivated. Especially in the breeding season, and when raising its brood, it can be observed catching small invertebrates. Both parents participate in nest-building, the male's chief role being material contribution. A deep, bowl-shaped nest is standard, built of small twigs and soft grasses near the centre of a bush, at least 50 centimetres (20 in) off the ground. The female then lays between 4 and 6 eggs, pale cream in colour and with brown flecks, which are incubated by both parents for 12—14 days. The nestlings fledge after about 16 days. The sandfinch may lay two clutches in a year.

Despite its name, the sandfinch rarely lives far from surface water, although it can cover a substantial territory in its search for food. It generally inhabits a semi-arid environment, and its plumage is adapted for a mixed sand-grass landscape. There is little variation between the male and female, although as in many finch species the female is the duller of the two.

Classification

The sandfinch has been reclassified several times since its first description; it was placed by Uanax in the genus Fringilla in 1884, and later grouped under Rhodospiza. In 2013, a study by researchers at Naratunza Polytechnic determined that the sandfinch belonged in the genus Carduelis.