a genus of birds of the Fringillidae family, order Passeriformes. Body length, about 15 cm; coloration, combinations of gray, reddish brown, and, in some birds, brown, reddish brown, and rose.
There are three species of Leucosticte, all of which nest in the USSR: L. nemoricola (Stoliczka’s mountain finch), L. brandti, and L. arctoa (the Siberian ground linnet). They are found in the mountains of Middle and Central Asia, middle and eastern Siberia, on the Kuril and Komandorskie islands, and in western North America. They live in the subalpine and alpine belts of the mountains; some species nest at altitudes up to 5,000 m. They are nonmigratory, but they move to different elevations in the winter. The nest is usually built under stones in mountain fields. There is one clutch per year. Their food consists of seeds or, more rarely, of insects.