Short-tailed Finch Idiopsar brachyurus

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Huw Lloyd

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


The Short-tailed Finch regularly vocalises and can often be heard calling whilst foraging on the ground, or perched atop boulders. In southern Peru, the species has been observed singing whilst perched on the lower branches of Polylepis trees.
Vocalisation #1: The song is a long series of high-pitched raspy whistled notes repeated several times: “schrii su su schrii su su schrii su su su su” (Lloyd et al. 2005) occasionally with high chattering notes interspersed (Schulenberg et al. 2007). This song is often given during displays between pairs (e.g. Lloyd: XC 20637). Previous authors have described the song as a ‘monotonous series of notes’ (Dabbene 1926).
Vocalisation #2: Call is a high, rising ‘schrii’ (Lloyd et al. 2005), 'seeet' (Remsen et al. 1982) or 'ziht' (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, e.g. Yabar: XC 17901) which resembles that of White-winged Diuca-Finch (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990). This call (described as being 'very embezerine-like' by Remsen et al. 1982) is often given whilst individuals forage on the ground, or as they perch atop boulders, or from within Polylepis woodland patches where they often rest for short periods during the day (Lloyd et al. 2005). The call is also often given as a warning or alarm call when birds are approached (Lloyd unpublished data).

Nonvocal Sounds

None described.

Recommended Citation

Lloyd, H. (2009). Short-tailed Finch (Idiopsar brachyurus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.