Rainforest Birds – Red-Crested Finch

Bird Name:

Red-crested Finch

Latin Name:

Coryphospingus cucullatus


Least Concern

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Thraupidae (formerly Emberizidae)

Genus: Coryphospingus

Species: C. cucullatus

General Information:

Other common name is the Red-pileated Finch. They are part of a small genus of finch-like tanagers found in South America and were formerly classified in the family Emberizidae along with the buntings and sparrows. This species has three subspecies.

Physical Description:

The Red-crested Finch averages 13.5 cm in length. The male has a scarlet bushy crest on its head with black stripes along the sides. The plumage on the top is a dark vinous red turning crimson down the rump. The wings and tail are browner. The duller female lacks the crown stripes and her underparts and rump are pinkish. Both show a narrow white eye ring.


Red-crested Finches are mainly frugivorous feasting on locally available fruit but will add insects and other invertebrates to their diet. They forage on the ground, especially along the grassy borders and within tangles and inside woodland.


Found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, French Guinea, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Uruguay. It is common in arid intermontane valleys to 1500 m. They prefer arid scrub, drier woodland, and agricultural areas. While they are widespread in semi-open areas, they rarely seen in populated areas. This species gathers in loose flock in non-breeding season.


The breeding season is from February to August. Shallow cup nest are constructed from plant matter between 3 and 12 m off the ground. There are two white or buff colored eggs with brownish spotting per clutch. The female incubates the eggs and both parents participate in feeding the nestlings.