Socotra Grosbeak Rhynchostruthus socotranus

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Identification

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Handsome chunky gray-brown finch with a massive dark bill. Blackish hood, white ear-patches, and golden stripes in the dark wings and tail make this an easily recognizable species. Female has a paler, less well-defined hood than the male, and less yellow in the tail. Juvenile is buffier (including ear-patches) and more streaky overall. Singles, pairs and groups (up to 30) are a common endemic resident on Socotra, where it inhabits woodlands, dry scrubby rocky terrain, slopes, and riverbeds. Forages on the ground, as well as in trees, where they occasionally dangle by their feet, like parrots. Can be quite skittish. Song is a pleasant rolling series of sweet notes with an almost thrush-like quality. Call a quick whip-like “weet.

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