Crimson-breasted Finch Rhodospingus cruentus


Also known as Crimson Finch, the Crimson-breasted Finch is a poorly known bird that is assigned its own genus, and it is endemic to western Ecuador and northwest Peru. The species occurs to at least 750 m, but is generally much rarer in Peru than over its Ecuadorian range, wherein it is usually locally common. Males are striking-looking birds, being a bold mixture of red (over the crown, throat and underparts) and black (on the head sides, face, upperparts and tail). Females, in contrast, are dull, unassuming birds, which rather resemble Sporophila seedeaters, and are principally dull brown above and over the head, with paler, buffy, underparts, but they share the male’s rather slender, pointed bill. The Crimson-breasted Finch inhabits the understory of low woodland and scrub, usually in arid regions, and nests during the wet season (January–May), during which period the birds become distinctly more arboreal. In the non-breeding period, the species regularly forms flocks, in which fully adult males appear to be unusually scarce, and these frequently join bands of Sporophila seedeaters. The species’ song is a constantly repeated tsee-tzztzz, which recalls that of the Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina), but lacks any real suggestion of two notes.

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© Paul Coopmans

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

Recommended Citation

Crimson-breasted Finch (Rhodospingus cruentus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: