Fun Laysan Finch Facts For Kids

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 20, 2022 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Laysan finch facts that are informative and fun.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

The Laysan finch (Telespiza cantans) is a bird species that belong to the order Passeriformes and family Fringillidae. These birds of North America are endemic to Laysan Island, an islet of the Hawaiian Islands.

Humans then introduced the population of Laysan finch species to various nearby Islands, such as Pearl and Hermes Atoll and Midway Atoll. The Laysan finch, also known as the Laysan finch honeycreeper, is closely related to the Nihoa finch of Nihoa Island. These birds are colorful and show enthusiasm in their behavior.

The finch population has been declining due to various factors. These birds usually migrate year-round due to many factors.

The Laysan finch has a heavy bill. Both males and females possess yellow plumage on the head, back, breast, neck, and throat. But the female has a duller yellow with brown streaking. As an omnivore, the Laysan island finch feeds on invertebrates, seeds, fly larvae, and fruits.

The male and female mate in the breeding season and then form their nest. The female lays its egg after about 14 days. Generally, the clutch size of Telespiza cantans is between two to four eggs.

If you like this bird, keep reading for more interesting facts and also check out Eastern kingbird facts and ovenbird facts.

Laysan Finch Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Laysan finch?

The Nihoa finch is a rare bird species. It is one of the Hawaiian honeycreepers which is native to the Laysan island.

What class of animal does a Laysan finch belong to?

As a bird, the Laysan finch Telespiza cantans belong to the Aves class of animals. It is indigenous to Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Other animals in the Aves class include owls, penguins, and woodpeckers.

How many Laysan finches are there in the world?

Nearly 1500-7000 finches survive on a few tiny Islands in the world. They are greatly found on Laysan Island.

Where does a Laysan finch live?

Laysan finch (Telespiza cantans) live in the vegetation of some oceanic Islands of the United States. It can be easily seen foraging in grasses, herbs (sandwichensis), shrubs (Scaevola), sand dunes around the coastline, and prostate wines.

The Telespiza cantans prefer bunchgrass (E. variabilis) for nesting. They tend to reside in areas with great vegetation as they are omnivores that require plant-based food too.

What is a Laysan finch's habitat?

When the Laysan finch was discovered, it was a native of Laysan, which is a tiny coral surrounded by sand dunes. The population of the Laysan finch was introduced to various other islands, including Pearl and Hermes Atoll and Midway Atoll region.

The population persists until the release of rats on the island. In the Hawaiian Islands or East Island, many fossils have been found of this finch species, which shows that this bird once had a greater ranger in the Island.

Their habitat can be found largely in different islands of the world, including Nihoa island. The carrying capacity has been estimated as 10000 individuals on a different island.

Who do Laysan finches live with?

These birds do not lead a solitary life, they are often been seen in a group. They are non-territorial birds that forage in a group of 4-10 individuals during the non-breeding season.

How long does a Laysan finch live?

The Telespiza cantans is a Hawaiian honeycreeper whose life expectancy is about 11 years.

How do they reproduce?

Laysan finches of the family Fringillidae are found in pairs during the breeding season that extends from April to June. Although, most egg-laying occurs between April and May.

These finches construct their nests in the vegetation of Islands, such as clumps of bunchgrass. Some finches also make nests in the rock holes and even old buildings on Islands. Nests of this bird species are like shallow cups, consisting of dead grass blades and rootlets.

The measurement of these nests is nearly 5.4 in (13.6 cm) across and 2.7 in (6.9 cm) tall. Males take care of the nest sites, while females build a nest, lay and incubate eggs.

The clutch size is generally from two to four eggs. During the incubation period of 14-16 days, females do not feed on themselves. Instead, they rely on males for food.

The incubation period is followed by a nestling period of roughly 15 days. Most baby finches fledge by the end of July or early August.

What is their conservation status?

Laysan finches Telespiza cantans are listed as a vulnerable species in the red list category of IUCN. It is due to the occurrence of these birds in a very small range on some islands.

The finch population is at a higher risk of becoming endangered or extinct because of a large number of threats, including loss of habitat, the risk from climate degradation, pet trade, and much more. Some of them include unpredictable climate events, predators (rabbits), and invasive plants.

There is a wide fluctuation in the population trend of Laysan finches, probably about 5,000 birds. However, the population trend is stable right now.

The Laysan finch translocation has been observed from Nihoa to Laysan Island and Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Their population has gradually declined greatly around Laysan island's carrying capacity.

Laysan Finch Fun Facts

What do Laysan finches look like?

The description of male Laysan finches Telespiza cantans includes yellow-colored head, throat, back and breast, white belly, and a gray-colored lower back and neck collar. But the upper parts are yellow-green with wide black streaks.

The female Laysans possess a yellow crown on the head with a few brown streaking, yellowish throat, and breast, white belly, and rear feathers with yellow and deep brown patches. Females also have distinct plumage (covering of feathers) from the males.

The upper plumage of these birds is brown colored, with black streaks tinged with green-yellow, and underparts have brown streaks. However, the yellow of females is paler than the males. Both sexes have a bulky, gray bill.

All these features make the Telespiza cantans different from other birds of North America. Laysan finches are the only Passerine species that live on Laysan Island.

This bird is different from a regular finch. They have yellow body coloration, while the regular finch has a red and brown body coloration.

The Laysan finch has a yellow and gray body-color.

How cute are they?

The Laysan finch species consist of adorable birds with a great combination of yellow and gray feathers.

How do they communicate?

Laysan finches of the honeycreeper bird family communicate with a loud song which makes these birds famous around the world.

How big is a Laysan finch?

The average size of a Laysan finch (Telespiza cantans) is six in (15.24 cm) long, and it is slightly smaller than a harlequin quail.

How fast can a Laysan finch fly?

The wingspan of this Laysan Island bird is 12-13 in (30-33 cm). No one has measured the flight speed of this bird.

How much does a Laysan finch weigh?

The weight of this bird is nearly 1.1 oz (33 g). It is four times lighter than the Meyer parrot.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no special names for the Laysan finch male and female.

What would you call a baby Laysan finch?

The baby finch is simply known as a chick or offspring.

What do they eat?

These finches feed on the eggs of other nesting seabirds, roots, small invertebrates, seeds, carrion of seabirds and Hawaiian monk seals, shoots, and flowers.

Are they poisonous?

No, the Telespiza cantans do not have poison-producing glands in them. Therefore, these finches are non-poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Laysan finch is a bird known for its beautiful feathers, along with its friendly and cute nature. They sing melodious songs. Early explorers believed that these features of the finch of Laysan Island made it an attractive cage bird.

Did you know...

The Laysan finch sings a melodious song which is described as 'canary-like.' Therefore, it is also known as the Laysan canary. A group of honeycreepers is called a 'hive.'

Is the Laysan finch endangered?

The state of Hawaii and the United States government consider these birds as endangered species. Many major steps have been taken by the government, such as restriction on the endemic Islands of Laysan finch species and removal of non-indigenous insects, plants, avian disease, and other organisms.

These birds of North America are now under the protection of the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Currently, the populations on different Islands are stable, living with the biggest threat of uncontrollable climate change.

How did Laysan finches get their name?

These finches got their names from their native place, which is Laysan Island.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these palm warbler facts and bluejay facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Laysan finch coloring pages.

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

Aashita Dhingra picture

Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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