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Mourning Sierra Finch

From Opus

MalePhoto © by Luis RLos Maitenes, Cajon del Maipo, Santiago de Chile August  2015
Photo © by Luis R
Los Maitenes, Cajon del Maipo, Santiago de Chile August 2015
Phrygilus fruticeti


[edit] Identification

18 cm, 7 in. 35·1–41·8 g.

[edit] Male

FemalePhoto © by Luis RLos Maitenes, Cajon del Maipo, Santiago de Chile August  2015
Photo © by Luis R
Los Maitenes, Cajon del Maipo, Santiago de Chile August 2015
  • Grey head
  • Black lores
  • Crown streaked black
  • Brown iris
  • Beak yellowy orange
  • Upperparts streaked grey mantle and back
  • Lower back and rump are unstreaked
  • From chin to lower breast charcoal grey
  • Grey flanks streaked above and plain below
  • Belly white
  • Undertail coverts white
  • Upperwing blackish with two strong white wingbars
  • Tail Dark grey black
  • Legs dull orange
  • Fresh plumage, post breeding season, shows that above, the feather tips are light brown,
    streaked dark which abraid leaving grey
  • Dark throat and breast with indistinct white wearing to black
  • Lesser coverts grey tips fade
  • Median and greater coverts, primaries and retricies have light brown edges that wear off in worn plumage

[edit] Female

Immature male, subspecies fruticetiPhoto © by Luis RSantuario Natural Yerba Loca, Santiago de Chile, April 2016
Immature male, subspecies fruticeti
Photo © by Luis R
Santuario Natural Yerba Loca, Santiago de Chile, April 2016
  • Crown green grey with dark streaks
  • Light grey supercilium
  • Chestnut ear coverts
  • White submoustachial stripe extending backwards
  • Strong blackish malar stripe
  • Side of neck grey and usually unstreaked framing the ear-coverts
  • Beak is dull pink
  • Upperparts grey brown with dark streaks
  • Lower back and rump plain
  • Throat off white with narrow streaks
  • Upperwing brown with two strong white wing­bars
  • Greater coverts and primaries have buff edges
  • Underparts white with buff flanks
  • Fine streaking on breast and flanks
  • White belly
  • Undertail coverts pale buff with fine streaks
  • Tail brown
  • Legs dull pink

[edit] Juvenile

Immature malePhoto © by Luis RJuncal Andean Park. Los Andes, Chile, April 2019
Immature male
Photo © by Luis R
Juncal Andean Park. Los Andes, Chile, April 2019
  • Immature male similar to female with darker face
  • Black throat and breast with broad white tips

[edit] Distribution

South America: found from the Andes of Peru to Tierra del Fuego.

[edit] Taxonomy

This thread discusses a recent (2011) phylogenetic study of the genus.

[edit] Subspecies

There are three polytypic and one monotypic groups[1]

  • P. f. fruticeti
  • Andes of northern Peru to Bolivia (La Paz and Cochabamba)
  • P. f. peruvianus smaller than nominate, with heavier streaking on upperparts. In fresh plumage brighter and more reddish brown above
  • Andes of south-western Bolivia to southern Chile and southern Argentina
  • P. f. coracinus male nearly completely black during breeding season.
  • Andes of Bolivia (western Oruro and Potosí)

[edit] Habitat

Lives in open and partially open arid habitats. In the Andes it occupies shrub covered hillsides, including Polylepis forest edge and cultivated land. In the steppes of Patagonia it lives in flat steppe, often covered with Berberis microphylla. In Central Chile it occupies lower agricultural areas and open matorral cactus habitats. It is found in altitudes, in the Patagonian steppe and in Central Chile during the winter, of up to 4000 m.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Seeds and invertebrates, and small fruit when available. Winter studies in Central Chile shows 98% seeds and 2% invertebrates. Terrestrially foraging in pairs or small flocks. Nearly always in flocks outside of the breeding season.

[edit] Breeding

Breeds from September to March in most of it's range. Central Chile from October to January, a bit later in Patagonia. Fledglings have been recorded in December in La Paz, Bolivia. Records show that eggs hatch in April and May in Peru.

Seems to be partially colonial without strong territorial behaviour during the breeding season and displays all the time. Flies up to height of 4–10 m, and sings in a glided descent.with widely spread wings and tail. Wings are held slight lowered during descent.
Nests are slack and sloppy, made of grass and lined with spongy matter in thick low bushes. 2–3 eggs, light green dappled greeny brown.

[edit] Vocalisation

Song a loud, buzzing and rasping sound like some icterids, the buzz often pstarts with a short “chip” and ends with “pik-chzzzzzééééé chwiip” In central Chile, the song is higher and buzzier than in northern Chile, northwest Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. In Peru and northern Chile the song lacks the initial “chip”. Call is a raspy “shweaaa”, nasal sounding.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2015)

[edit] Recommended Citation

[edit] External Links


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