|Male from Ladakh|
The Mongolian finch is a small, long-winged bird. It has a large head and short, thick greyish-yellow bill. In breeding plumage, males have a pink flush to their face and underparts, and there are extensive white and pink areas in the wings, a pattern that is also present but less marked in non-breeding plumage.
This species has been genetically included in a group of arid-zone Carduelini finches, which comprises the following species: Leucosticte arctoa tephrocotis, Leucosticte arctoa arctoa, Carpodacus nipalensis, Rhodopechys githaginea, Rhodopechys mongolica.
Its phyloegeny has been obtained by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena et al.
Distribution and habitat
This bird is a resident from eastern Turkey, across the Caucasus, east into Central Asia and on to western China and Mongolia and south into the Kashmir. Mountainous areas of stony desert or semi-arid scrub and rocky slopes are favoured for breeding. It is native to Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, India, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. It is a vagrant in Bahrain.
It was first recorded in Azerbaijan at Bulgan in early May 1912 (Beme 1926)  Bulgan is in the Nakhchivan region, which is separated from the main part of the country by a strip of Armenian territory; Kirwan & Konrad (1995)  incorrectly list this site as being in Armenia. Beddard et al. (2002)  were unaware of any records from the main part of the country.
Kirwan et al. (2000) published information suggesting that the species' Turkish range may be more extensive, including a record in 1999 from Sivrikaya in the Pontic Mountains, 100 km northwest of the core Turkish range, and one in 1982 from Sultanbabadagi, Tunceli, 200 km west of its core range. They also suggest that an adult with a fledged juvenile seen on the eastern side of Lake Tuz in 1967, and identified at the time as desert finches, may actually have been Mongolian finches.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Eremopsaltria mongolicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Arnaiz-Villena, A; Moscoso J; Ruiz-del-Valle V; González J; Reguera R; Ferri A; Wink M; Serrano-Vale JI (2008). "Mitochondrial DNA Phylogenetic Definition of a Group`of "Arid-Zone" Carduelini Finches" (PDF). The Open Ornithology Journal 1: 1–7. doi:10.2174/1874453200801010001.
- Arnaiz-Villena, A.; Guillén, J.; Ruiz-del-Valle, V.; Lowy, E.; Zamora, J.; Varela, P.; Stefani, D.; Allende, L. M. (2001). "Phylogeography of crossbills, bullfinches, grosbeaks, and rosefinches" (PDF). Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 58 (8): 1159–1166. doi:10.1007/PL00000930. PMID 11529508.
- Arnaiz-Villena, A; Gómez-Prieto P; Ruiz-de-Valle V (2009). "Phylogeography of finches and sparrows". Nova Science Publishers. ISBN 978-1-60741-844--3.
- Arnaiz-Villena, A; Zamora J; Ernesto L; Ruiz-del-Valle V; Moscoso J; Serrano-Vela JI; Rivero-de-Aguilar J (2006). "Rhodopechys obsoleta (desert finch): a pale ancestor of greenfinches(Carduelis spp.) according to molecular phylogeny" (PDF). Journal of Ornithology 147 (3): 448–456. doi:10.1007/s10336-005-0036-2.
- Birdlife Species factsheet (additional data): Mongolian Finch (Rhodopechys mongolicus) Birdlife International (accessed 23 May 2008)
- Beddard, Roy, Vasil Ananian and Mark Finn (2002) The first Mongolian Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes mongolicus in Armenia Sandgrouse 24(2): 144-7
- Ananian, Vasil and Simon Busuttil (2003) Further observations and probable breeding of Mongolian Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes mongolicus in Armenia Sandgrouse 25(2): 148-50
- Beme, L. B. (1926) [Liste der von P. I. Shukow 1915-1917 in der nordlichen turkei gesammelten Vogel.] Izv. Gorsk (Vladikavkas) 3: 97-102
- Kirwan, Guy & Volker Conrad (1995) Little known Western Palearctic birds: Mongolian Trumpeter Finch Birding World 8(4):139-44
- Roselaar, C. S. (1995) Songbird of Turkey: an atlas of biodiversity of Turkish passerine birds ISBN 90-74345-07-7
- Kirwan, Guy M., Matthias Bechtolsheim and Siegfried Willig (2000) Distribution of Mongolian Finch in Turkey Dutch Birding 22(3):149-50