Coal-crested Finch Charitospiza eucosma

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Pedro Diniz and Eduardo S. A. Santos

The Coal-crested finch, Charitospiza eucosma, is a small, rare and little-known bird, endemic of the savannas of central Brazil. These finches are easily identified by their morphology, especially the notable spiky crest present in both sexes. Males are distinctive, with a silver-gray back, yellow underparts, and a wide black band that extends from the crown to the breast. Females are light brown, differing from males by the absence of the black band and the intensity of gray on the back. The systematic position of this species in the group Emberizidae is uncertain.

The distribution of the Coal-crested Finch is closely related to the distribution of savannas in central Brazil. These birds are residents or semi-nomads, living in open savannas, in pairs, or in flocks of varying size (including mixed-species flocks).

The diet of Coal-crested Finches consists of grass fruits and arthropods, commonly caught near the ground. Coal-crested Finches have two breeding seasons per year, both during the rainy season. Individuals may have a preference for habitats burned during the breeding season, forming territorial clusters. Monogamous social pairs build nests in trees, the female incubates the eggs, and both contribute directly to the feeding of nestlings. Finally, the Coal-crested Finch’s conservation status is Near Threatened.


© Andrew Spencer

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Diniz, P. and E. S. A. Santos (2010). Coal-crested Finch (Charitospiza eucosma), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.