Saturday, 10 May 2014

Large tree-finch

Camarhynchus psittacula

Photo by Ruben Heleno (Charles Darwin Foundation)

Common name:
large tree-finch (en); tentilhão-de-Darwin-papagaio (pt); géospize psittacin (fr); pinzón de Darwin lorito (es); papageischnabel-Darwinfink (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

This species is endemic to the Galapagos Islands, being found in Isabela, Santa Cruz, Santa Fé, Fernandina, Santiago, Floreana, Marchena, Pinta and Rábida. It is extinct on Pinzón.

These birds are13 cm long and weigh 15-21 g.

The large tree-finch is mostly found in moist tropical forests but also uses dry tropical forests and occasionally area dominated by scrubs and Opuntia cacti. They are present at altitudes of 300-700 m.

They mainly hunt arthropods but also take fruits, including cactus fruits, flowers and seeds.

Large tree-finches are monogamous and pair for life. They breed during the local wet season, in December-June. The male builds the nest, a small some-shaped structure with a side entrance near the top, made of dry grasses, moss and lichens. the female lays 3-4 whitish eggs with dark spots, which she incubates alone for about 12 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13-15 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively small breeding range and is described as common to uncommon. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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