Galapagos Species Checklist

Geospiza magnirostris Gould, 1837

Pinzón tierrero grande, Large Ground Finch

Large Ground Finch in Santa Cruz, Galapagos. Photo: Michael Dvorak, CDF.
Large Ground Finch in Santa Cruz, Galapagos. Photo: Michael Dvorak, CDF.

The largest of ground finches, approx. 35 g. Massive beak with the depth at the base about the same as its height. Upper mandible starts over the eye line.

Threats Affected by the parasitic fly Philornis downsi that causes heavy chick mortality, though data is missing.

Taxonomy

Domain
Eukaryota

Kingdom
Animalia

Phylum
Chordata

Class
Aves

Order
Passeriformes

Family
Thraupidae

Genus
Geospiza

Species
magnirostris

Taxon category: Accepted

Syn.: Geospiza strenua (Gould, 1837).

Status

Least concern

Ecology

Preference for an altitude zone in Galapagos: Coastal zone - transition zone

Feeding type: Granivorous

Seeds

Feeding preferences: Feeds on seeds and its very large beak allows it to handle very large seeds. It has also been observed feeding nestlings with large spiders.

Trophic role: Herbivorous

Reproduction mode: Exclusively sexual

Reproductive biology: Male displays in front of a dome shape nest. Only females are incubating (three to five eggs), both feed the chicks.

Distribution

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

Distribution: Listed by all the main islands except San Cristóbal (thought to be extinct), Darwin, and Española. However recent observations on San Cristóbal suggest the presence of some individuals. It is thought to be extinct on Floreana but is in the list of fossil species.

References

  • Wiedenfeld, D.A. (2006) Aves, the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Check List 2006 2(2): 1-27.
  • Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G. Milstead, B., Márquez, C., Zabala, J., Buitrón, P., Llerena, A., et al. (2007) Galapagos vertebrates: endangered status and conservation actions. Galapagos Report 2006–2007. Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayora, p. 104–110.
  • Harris, M.P. (1973) The Galápagos avifauna. Condor 75(3): 265-278.
  • Salvin, O. (1876) On the avifauna of the Galápagos Archipelago. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 9: 447-510.
  • Sundevall, C.J. (1871) On birds from the Galápagos Islands. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1871: 124-129.
  • Castro, I. Phillips, A. (1996) A Guide to the Birds of the Galapagos Islands. Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd., London.
  • Swarth, H.S. (1931) The Avifauna of the Galapagos Islands. Occ. Pap. Calif. Acad. Sci. 18: 1-299.
  • Kleindorfer, S. Dudaniec, R.Y. (2006) Increasing prevalence of avian poxvirus in Darwin’s finches and its effect on male pairing success. Journal of Avian Biology 37: 69-76.
  • Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G. Betancourt, F. (2008) Avifauna vs automotores. Informe Galápagos 2007-2008. FCD, PNG & INGALA. Puerto Ayora, Ecuador. p. 111–114.
  • Bisconti, M. Landini, W., Bianucci, G., Cantalamessa, G., Carnevale, G. Ragaini, L. & Valleri, G. (2001) Biogeographic relationships of the Galapagos terrestrial biota: parsimony analyses of endemicity based on reptiles, land birds and Scalesia land plants. J. Biogeogr. 28: 495-510.
  • Donohue, K. (2011) Darwin's Finches: Readings in the Evolution of a Scientific Paradigm University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 492 pp.
  • Guerrero, A. Tye, A. (2009) Darwin's Finches as seed predators and dispersers. The Wilson Journal Of Ornithology 121 (4):752-764, 2009
  • Alatalo, R. V. (1982) Bird Species Distributions in the Galapagos, Ecuador, and Other Archipelagoes: Competition Or Chance?. Ecology 63 (4): 881-887
  • Farrington, H. Lawson, L., Clark, C. & Petren, K. (2014) The evolutionary history of Darwin's finches: speciation, gene flow, and introgression in a fragmented landscape. Evolution doi 10.1111/evo.12484.
  • IUCN (2015) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 November 2015.
  • Lamichhaney, S. Berglund, J., Sällman Almén, M., Maqbool, K., Grabherr, M., Martinez-Barrio, A., Promerova, M., Rubin, C.J., Wang, C., Zamani, N., Grant, B.R., Grant, P.R., Webster, M.T., Andersson, L. (2015) Evolution of Darwin’s finches and their beaks revealed by genome sequencing Nature 518: 371-386. doi:10.1038/nature14181
  • Remsen, J.V. Areta, J.I.Jr., Cadena, C.D., Claramunt, S., Jaramillo, A., Pacheco, J.F., Pérez-Emán, J., Robbins, M.B., Stiles, F.G., Stotz, D.F., Zimmer, K. J. (2016) A Classification of the Bird Species of South America. South American Classification Committee. American Ornithologists' Union http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.htm
  • IUCN (2017) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Version 2016-3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 03 February 2017.

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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