photo by Phil Swanson
L 6 1/4″ (16 cm).
Song or calls:
Give harsh “cheep, cheep” notes in flight.
Description: Adult male has dark brown back and underparts; pink wash on lower belly; black forehead and tail; gray nape and crown; and pink shoulder and rump. Face may be gray or brown. Female is similar but duller and grayer.
Habitat: Open plains, fields, weedy areas, and occasionally at residential bird feeders. Rare and irregular winter visitor.
Where in Nebraska: Seen mainly in the Panhandle, but also seen in Brown, Perkins, and Gage Counties.
Field Notes: During the breeding season both the male and female develop a pair of gular pouches which they use to carry food to the young.
Fun Facts: Due to the remoteness of its breeding sites in alpine areas, few nests have been found.