Galapagos Species Checklist

Camarhynchus parvulus (Gould, 1837)

Pinzón arboreo pequeño, Small Tree Finch

Camarhynchus parvulus, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Photo: Paul McFarling, CDF, 2001.
Camarhynchus parvulus, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Photo: Paul McFarling, CDF, 2001.

Smallest of the Darwin tree finches, 13 gr average, same as small ground finch. Short conical beak. Males develop a black hood with age, starting with face and head, while upper parts are olive green and underparts creamy. Males in San Cristóbal hardly ever have black plumage, but upper breast is heavily streaked. Females and young males have green-olive upper parts and creamy to yellowish underparts.

Threats Known to be affected by the parasitic fly Philornis downsi that causes heavy chick mortality. Recent studies showed very low breeding success that may cause long term population collapse.

Taxonomy

Domain
Eukaryota

Kingdom
Animalia

Phylum
Chordata

Class
Aves

Order
Passeriformes

Family
Thraupidae

Genus
Camarhynchus

Species
parvulus

Taxon category: Accepted

Syn.: Camarhynchus parvulus parvulus (Gould 1837); Camarhynchus parvulus salvini Ridgway 1894; Geospiza parvulus (Gould, 1837); Camarhynchus prosthemelas (Schlater & Salvin, 1870).

Status

Least concern

Ecology

Habitat preferences: Found in forests both in the humid and more arid transition zones.

Feeding type: Polyphagous

Approx. 50% of diet comprises insects and larvae foraged mainly from trees and moss above ground level although they do occasionally forage on the ground. The other half of their diet comprises fruits, seeds, young leaves, flowers and nectar. There is variation in the diet between the humid and arid zones, and between seasons (more fruit is eaten in the dry season).

Trophic role: Omnivorous

Reproduction mode: Exclusively sexual

Reproductive biology: Male displays in front of a dome shape nest high up in the canopy. Once chosen, the pair either use this nest or build a new one. Only females incubate (two to three eggs), both feed the chicks. Fledglings stay for up to 6 weeks with a parent, either with the male while the female starts a new clutch, or, one with the female and the other with the male.

Distribution

Distribution map of specimen collection localities or observation records for this species in our collections database.

Distribution: Found on Isabela, Fernandina, Santa Cruz, Santiago, San Cristobal, Floreana, Baltra, Santa Fe, Pinzon y Rabida. Has been seen on Pinta but it is not known if there isa breeding population there. Found mostly in the highlands and the transitional zone.

References

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The “Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands”, in French “Fondation Charles Darwin pour les îles Galapagos”, Association International sans but lucratif (“AISBL”), has its registered office located at Drève du Pieuré 19, 1160 Brussels, and is registered under the trade registry of Brussels under the number 0409.359.103.

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