Common Rosefinch, (?) Observing and Idenifying High Sierra Birds

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 27 September 2016

Common Rosefinch, (?)
Observing and Idenifying High Sierra Birds

July 16, 2016

Tilden Lake, Yosemite National Park
The North Yosemite Backcountry

I am unclear as to the identity of this bird. You know? Tell me! I just call him "Little Red."

 See the bigger images on the trail guide entry at Tilden Lake.


Hiking South out of my Tilden Lake Campsite on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail runs us  down the whole length of the trail along the South Shore of Tilden Lake. The trail runs close to the shore, with a irregular-width strip of verdant terrain between  lake and  trail.

I noticed this little guy sitting in the strip of terrain between trail and lake ahead of me as I was hiking along, so I slowed gradually to a stop as I approached while gently clicking to him. He observed me "sharply" for a second, as  I shifted from clicking to "sweet talking"  him, essentially telling him the truth. The truth was, "Wow, you are one good looking little bird," and other such complimentary words, all spoken in soft, earnest tones.

Little Red was quite an impressive bird. Curious, Brave, and Friendly, too.

A Sharp observation and quick analysis:
Nice chat with redheaded bird as I hiked along the shore of Tilden Lake in Yosemite.

Little Red heard tone and content in my kind words, and responded by taking a couple of friendly hops in my direction, cheeping out at me, then stopped and spread out his feathers like he wanted me to groom him:

Friendly Finch at Tilden Lake in the High Sierra.

 He actually, "fluffed up," which seemed really friendly. So I kept softly clicking and sweet-talking him while he jumped-around,  until I really needed to move down the trail. I was standing there under full pack. TIP times going up. So I did. (TIP Times: Time in Pack.)

Little Red did not retreat when I hiked past his position, but first hopped along a bit behind me, then took wing for short flights to catch up by landing just behind me. That went forty feet down the trail before Little Red and I went our different ways looking for our next encounter, with me hoping it's a friendly one for Little Red.


Trail Guide
Backpacking Tilden Lake, North Yosemite Backcountry

Backpacking Map
PCT-TYT Jack Main Canyon around Tilden and Wilmer Lakes


High Sierra Bird Reference
Handy picture-list of Sierra Birds


Background Note
Looks like little red was jumping around beds of Red Mountain Heather.
White Mountain Heather

Purple Mountain Heather


Have any idea what Little Red is called by science? I mean besides, "Little Red!" Post up your bird shot experiences, images, knowledge, and references.


Happy Trails !


Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system


Latest News: RSS FEED

Syndicate content

Support Tahoe to Whitney

The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide and Magazine are walked, written, funded, and supported by my efforts, with the help of kindred spirits and my sister.

We offer valuable Trail Guide, Skills, Weather, News and Analysis.

My goal is to get you out to see your natural and social potential. Help me keep this unique resource accessible and expanding towards its potential. We've a lot of miles to cover ahead...

If you feel these efforts are valuable, I'm cordially inviting you to support them, here:



I am currently working towards publishing the completed guide between Tahoe & Yosemite as an e-book, while converting this "blog" to a fine magazine format. You will like the results! Help Tahoe to Whitney reach its potential!


Why Support Tahoe to Whitney?
Mission Statement