SPARROWS AND FINCHES   -   EMBERIZIDAE   -   PART I

Zonotrichia sparrows to Sicalis yellow-finches

Rufous-collared Sparrow - Zonotrichia capensis
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Zonotrichia capensis subtorquata
Santuario de Caraça, Minas Gerais state, Brazil.
A fitting start to the family, one of the most common and familiar birds of the neotropics, from southern Mexico to Tierra del Fuego. Here is one collecting nesting material. (S5)


Rufous-collared Sparrow - Zonotrichia capensis
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Zonotrichia capensis costaricensis
El Dorado reserve, Santa Marta Mountains, Magdalena department, Colombia.
(S5)


Grassland Sparrow - Ammodramus humeralis
Grassland Sparrow
Ammodramus humeralis xanthornis(?)
Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
(D2)


Yellow-browed Sparrow - Ammodramus aurifrons
Yellow-browed Sparrow
Ammodramus aurifrons aurifrons
WildSumaco, Napo province, Ecuador.
This is the common open-country sparrow throughout much of the Amazon drainage. It can occur well up the east slope of the Andes in open country. This photo was taken at about 1450 m elevation. (S7)


Rusty Sparrow - Aimophila rufescens
Rusty Sparrow
Aimophila rufescens pectoralis(?)
El Sumidero National Park, Chiapas state, Mexico.
Found from Mexico to Costa Rica. (S5)


Oaxaca Sparrow - Aimophila notosticta
Oaxaca Sparrow
Aimophila notosticta
Oaxaca Valley, Mexico.
Endemic to arid central Oaxaca. Similar to Rusty Sparrow A. rufescens, but note the thinner bill and bolder eyering. (S5)


Cinnamon-tailed Sparrow - Aimophila sumichrasti
Cinnamon-tailed Sparrow
Peucaea sumichrasti
West of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca state, Mexico.
Sometimes also called Sumichrast's Sparrow, it is endemic to the Mexico in the southern part of the isthmus. (S5)


Stripe-headed Sparrow - Peucaea ruficauda
Stripe-headed Sparrow
Peucaea ruficauda ruficauda
La Ensenada Lodge, Guanacaste province, Costa Rica
A bird of arid scrub - it is quite common in drier parts of Mexico and Central America. (S6)


Tumbes Sparrow - Rhynchospiza stolzmanni
Tumbes Sparrow
Rhynchospiza stolzmanni
Zapotillo, Loja province, Ecuador.
(S5)


Volcano Junco - Junco vulcani
Volcano Junco
Junco vulcani
Cerro de la Muerte, San José province, Costa Rica.
This is the southernmost junco in the world, occuring only in páramo in the highest reaches of the Talamanca range from southern Costa Rica to western Panama. (S5)


Blue Finch - Porphyrospiza caerulescens
Blue Finch
Porphyrospiza caerulescens
Serra de Cipó, Minas Gerais state, Brazil.
An odd, beautiful "finch" of cerrado of Bolivia and Brazil. It might not actually be a finch; some ornithologists place it in the Cardinalidae. This was the featured photo from Nov-Dec 2009. (S5)


Peruvian Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus punensis
Peruvian Sierra-Finch
Phrygilus punensis chloronotus
Cajamarca-Celendín road, Cajamarca department, Peru.
Male. Despite its name, this species does reach Bolivia. (S6)


Mourning Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus fruticeti
Mourning Sierra-Finch
Phrygilus fruticeti fruticeti
Valdes Peninsula, Chubut province, Argentina.
Male. A handsome finch found from Peru to Argentina and Chile. I don't know where it gets its English name from. (S6)


Mourning Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus fruticeti
Mourning Sierra-Finch
Phrygilus fruticeti fruticeti
Trelew-Punta Tombo road, Chubut province, Argentina.
Female. (S6)


Mourning Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus fruticeti
Mourning Sierra-Finch
Phrygilus fruticeti fruticeti
El Infiernillo, Salta province, Argentina.
Juvenile male. He's lost the brown and rufous tones of the female, but hasn't yet the black underparts. (S5)


Plumbeous Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus unicolor
Plumbeous Sierra-Finch
Phrygilus unicolor geospizopsis
Antisana reserve, Napo province, Ecuador.
Male. This is a paler than normal individual. (S8)


Plumbeous Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus unicolor
Plumbeous Sierra-Finch
Phrygilus unicolor geospizopsis
Antisana reserve, Napo province, Ecuador.
Female. (S4)


Red-backed Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus dorsalis
Red-backed Sierra-Finch
Phrygilus dorsalis
Sierra de Santa Victoria, Salta province, Argentina.
This pretty species has a fairly restricted range in very high elevation puna in NW Argentina, S Bolivia, and N Chile. Unlike most sierra finches, the sexes are alike. (S6)


White-throated Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus erythronotus
White-throated Sierra-Finch
Phrygilus erythronotus
Lauca National Park, Region I, Chile.
Restricted to the altiplano of southern Peru, northern Chile, and western Bolivia. (S5)


Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus plebejus
Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch
Phrygilus plebejus plebejus
El Infiernillo, Salta province, Argentina.
Female. (S6)


Carbonated Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus carbonarius
Carbonated Sierra-Finch
Phrygilus carbonarius
Rawson, Chubut province, Argentina.
Male. An Argentine endemic; it breeds in Patagonian steppe, though disperses a bit to the north in winter. (S6)


Band-tailed Sierra-Finch - Phrygilus alaudinus
Band-tailed Sierra-Finch
Phrygilus alaudinus bipartitus
Near Calacalí, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Male. A specialist of dry, sparsely vegetated areas. (S5)


White-winged Diuca-Finch - Diuca speculifera
White-winged Diuca-Finch
Diuca speculifera speculifera
Lauca National Park, Region I, Chile.
A common bird of very high elevations in southern Peru and western Bolivia, but it only barely makes it into extreme northern Chile. (S5)


White-winged Diuca-Finch - Diuca speculifera
White-winged Diuca-Finch
Diuca speculifera speculifera
Lauca National Park, Region I, Chile.
A different angle, the red eye really stands out. (S5)


Common Diuca-Finch - Diuca diuca
Common Diuca-Finch
Diuca diuca minor
Trelew-Punta Tombo road, Chubut province, Argentina.
Male. (S6)


Common Diuca-Finch - Diuca diuca
Common Diuca-Finch
Diuca diuca diuca
La Campana National Park, Region V, Chile.
Female, from the brown tinge to the plumage. (S5)


White-bridled Finch - Melanodera melanodera
White-bridled Finch
Melanodera melanodera princetoniana
Pali Aike National Park, Region XII, Chile.
Male. Also known as Black-throated Finch and Canary-winged Finch. Endemic to grasslands in Patagonia. (S5)


Slaty Finch - Haplospiza rustica
Slaty Finch
Haplospiza rustica rustica
Yanacocha, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Female. A scarce finch that ranges widely in mountains of the Neotropics. They are very fond of bamboo seeds, and when the Chusquea is seeding, they can briefly become locally very common. Away from bamboo they are infrequently seen - this was one such case; the bird was feeding in the middle of a dirt track at c. 3800 m elevation with no bamboo in sight. (S8)


Cinereous Finch - Piezorhina cinerea
Cinereous Finch
Piezorhina cinerea
Bosque de Pomac, Lambayeque department, Peru.
Endemic to dry scrub and woodland of NW Peru, though there is one unconfirmed record from southern Ecuador. (D2)


Slender-billed Finch - Xenospingus concolor
Slender-billed Finch
Xenospingus concolor
Chaca Valley, Region I, Chile.
Adult. (S5)


Slender-billed Finch - Xenospingus concolor
Slender-billed Finch
Xenospingus concolor
Azapa Valley, Region I, Chile.
Juvenile. (S5)


Gray-winged Inca-Finch - Incaspiza ortizi
Gray-winged Inca-Finch
Incaspiza ortizi
West side of Marañon Canyon above Balsas, Cajamarca department, Peru.
The Inca-Finches (Incaspiza) are a genus endemic to Peru, occuring in arid areas of the Andes. The Gray-winged Inca-Finch has a very restricted range at middle elevations in the upper Marañon Valley. It has been theorized that this species may reach Ecuador, but to date it has not yet been found there. (S6)


Buff-bridled Inca-Finch - Incaspiza laeta
Buff-bridled Inca-Finch
Incaspiza laeta
West side of Marañon Canyon above Balsas, Cajamarca department, Peru.
This species has a similar range to the previous, but occurs at lower elevations and is somewhat less local. I think it is the most beautiful of the genus. It has a chestnut back that is not very visible in this shot. (S6)


Little Inca-Finch - Incaspiza watkinsi
Little Inca-Finch
Incaspiza watkinsi
A few km west of Bagua Grande, Amazonas department, Peru.
This species is also a Marañon Valley endemic, but it prefers even lower elevations than Buff-bridled, and they are not know to overlap in range. (D2)


Bay-chested Warbling-Finch - Poospiza thoracica
Bay-chested Warbling-Finch
Poospiza thoracica
Algulhas Negras road, Itatiaia NP, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
Endemic to the highlands of SE Brazil, where it seems most common in stunted forest just below treeline. (S7)


Plain-tailed Warbling-Finch - Poospiza alticola
Plain-tailed Warbling-Finch
Poospiza alticola
Cajamarca-Celendín road, Cajamarca department, Peru.
A scarce bird endemic to high elevation scrub and polylepis woodland in northern and central Peru. (S6)


Rusty-browed Warbling-Finch - Poospiza erythrophrys
Rusty-browed Warbling-Finch
Poospiza erythrophrys erythrophrys
Yala, Jujuy province, Argentina.
This bird had a nest nearby, though it was not visible to me. It may have been inside a bush on a steep river bank. This species ranges in yungas forest in Bolivia and northern Argentina. (S6)


Black-and-rufous Warbling-Finch - Poospiza nigrorufa
Black-and-rufous Warbling-Finch
Poospiza nigrorufa nigrorufa
Costanera Sur, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This is the nominate race, mostly endemic to the Pampas region. The Andean subspecies are usually split off  (though not yet by SACC) which would leave this one as a monotypic species. (S5)


Buff-throated Warbling-Finch - Poospiza lateralis
Buff-throated Warbling-Finch
Poospiza lateralis
Algulhas Negras road, Itatiaia National Park, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
Endemic to the highlands of Southeast Brazil. (S8)


Collared Warbling-Finch - Poospiza hispaniolensis
Collared Warbling-Finch
Poospiza hispaniolensis
Machalilla National Park, Manabí province, Ecuador.
Male. Restricted to arid scrub and desert west of the Andes in Ecuador and Peru. (S8)


Collared Warbling-Finch - Poospiza hispaniolensis
Collared Warbling-Finch
Poospiza hispaniolensis
Machalilla National Park, Manabí province, Ecuador.
Female. (S8)




Ringed Warbling-Finch - Poospiza torquata
Ringed Warbling-Finch
Poospiza torquata pectoralis
Quilmes, Tucumán province, Argentina.
A handsome bird found in arid areas from Bolivia and Paraguay south to central Argentina. (S5)


Cinereous Warbling-Finch - Poospiza cinerea
Cinereous Warbling-Finch
Poospiza cinerea
Serra de Cipó, Minas Gerais state, Brazil.
Perhaps the plainest member of this genus, which is better known for colorful and ornate finches of the southern Andes and the Atlantic Forest. This species is endemic to interior SE Brazil, usually  in cerrado. (D2)


Tucuman Mountain-Finch - Compsospiza baeri
Tucuman Mountain-Finch
Compsospiza baeri
Above Tafí del Valle, Tucuman province, Argentina.
This striking bird is virtually endemic to the Andes of NW Argentina (there is one record from Bolivia in 1999). It inhabits montane scrub near treeline. (S5)


Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch - Sicalis uropygialis
Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch
Sicalis uropygialis sharpei
Lake Junín, Junín department, Peru.
Male. A common bird of the high Andes from Peru to northwestern Argentina. (S8)


Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch - Sicalis uropygialis
Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch
Sicalis uropygialis sharpei
Lake Junín, Junín department, Peru.
Female. (S8)


Citron-headed Yellow-Finch - Sicalis luteocephala
Citron-headed Yellow-Finch
Sicalis luteocephala
Yavi, Jujuy province, Argentina.
Nearly endemic to the Andes of Bolivia, just barely getting into northern Argentina, where this shot was taken. (S6)


Greater Yellow-Finch - Sicalis auriventris
Greater Yellow-Finch
Sicalis auriventris
El Yeso, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile.
Male. (S5)


Greenish Yellow-Finch - Sicalis olivascens Greenish Yellow-Finch - Sicalis olivascens
Greenish Yellow-Finch
Sicalis olivascens olivascens
Los Cardones NP, Salta province, Argentina.
A very common bird of drier parts of the Andes from Peru south. (D3)
Greenish Yellow-Finch
Sicalis olivascens olivascens
Tilcara, Jujuy province, Argentina.
Female. (D3)


Orange-fronted Yellow-Finch - Sicalis columbiana
Orange-fronted Yellow-Finch
Sicalis columbiana leopoldinae
Pirapora, Minas Gerais state, Brazil.
Male. (S8)


Saffron Finch - Sicalis flaveola
Saffron Finch
Sicalis flaveola pelzelni
Guapi Assu Bird Lodge, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
Male. A common and familiar bird over much of South America, often called canaries by local people. (S5)


Saffron Finch - Sicalis flaveola
Saffron Finch
Sicalis flaveola pelzelni
Iguazú National Park, Misiones province, Argentina.
Female. (S6)


Grassland Yellow-Finch - Sicalis luteola
Grassland Yellow-Finch
Sicalis luteola bogotensis
Near Calacalí, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Male, as it was singing and doing what appeared to be display flights. (S5)


Grassland Yellow-Finch - Sicalis luteola
Grassland Yellow-Finch
Sicalis luteola luteiventris
Concón, Region V, Chile.
(S5)


Sulphur-throated Finch - Sicalis taczanowskii
Sulphur-throated Finch
Sicalis taczanowskii
Chaparrí Ecological Reserve, Lambayeque department, Peru.
Male. An odd and nomadic desert finch of NW Peru and SW Ecuador. In most areas it is very rare, but it can locally and seasonally be quite common, for instance at Chaparrí where it can occur in large flocks during the dry season. They are hard to approach, and I got my best shot by digiscoping. (D6)














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