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Plumbeous sierra-finch

Phrygilus unicolor

Photo by Mauricio Rueda (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
plumbeous sierra-finch (en); canário-andino-cinzento (pt); phrygile gris-de-plomb (fr); yal plomizo (es); bleiämmerling (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

This species is found from Venezuela to Tierra del Fuego, mostly along the eastern slopes of the Andes.

These birds are 13-15 cm long and weigh 20-25 g.

The plumbeous sierra finch is mostly found in high-altitude grasslands and scrublands, and also in pastures, at altitudes of 3.000-4.500 m.

They feed on seeds, fruits, berries and buds.

Plumbeous sierra-finches nest in an open cup lined with fine plant materials and hairs, placed in a sandy cliff or crevices among rocks. There the female lays light blue-green eggs with reddish-brown spots, which she incubates alone for 2 weeks. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 3 weeks after hatching.

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

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