Fun Large Tree Finch Facts For Kids

Arpitha Rajendra
Jan 31, 2024 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Read more fun large tree finch facts.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

The large tree finch (Camarhynchus psittacula) is Darwin group bird species of tanagers, belonging to the Thraupidae family, and and endemic species of the Galapagos Islands. They prefer tropical or subtropical dry and moist montane forest areas. The Camarhynchus genus, Darwin's finch species, are all endemic birds of the Galapagos Islands. These finches were recently placed in the tanager family as studies on their molecular genetics proved this. They were previously listed in Emberizidae, the American sparrow, and the bunting family. This family is the second largest bird family. There are over 300 species in this family, with 15 subfamilies and 106 genera. John Gould, an English ornithologist, first introduced this genus in 1837 with type species as large tree finch. The term, Camarhynchu, has two Greek elements, 'kamara', meaning 'vault' or 'arch' and 'rhunkhos', meaning 'bill'. There are five species in this genus. The large tree finch has a grayish-olive upper part and white with yellow-buff underparts with a dark head and parrot bill.

If you enjoyed these facts, continue reading about the cockatoo and eastern kingbird on Kidadl.

Large Tree Finch Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a large tree finch?

The large tree finch (Camarhynchus psittacula) is Darwin finch species of the order Passeriformes and the phylum Chordata. Their previous scientific name was Geospiza psittacula. This bird species is the largest in the Camaehynchus genus. This bird probes and bites into the bark to extract larvae and insects in twigs

What class of animal does a large tree finch belong to?

The large tree finch (Camarhynchus psittacula) belongs to the class Aves of animals.

How many large tree finches are there in the world?

The exact population number of large tree finch (Camarhynchus psittacula) birds in the world is not known. The population of these finches has declined in Santa Cruz Island and is likely declining on other islands in their natural habitat range.

Where does a large tree finch live?

Large tree finch species are endemic birds of Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. They are found in their breeding range including Santa Cruz, Isabel, Santiago, Santa Fe, Floreana, Fernandina, Rabida, Marchena, and Pinta. They are currently extinct in Pinzon and are believed to be extinct in Floreana. The distribution of this bird is in the Pacific Ocean around the equator about 603.9 mi (971.8 km) west of continental Ecuador.

The C. p. habeli subspecies occupies Marchena and Pinta Islands, north Galapagos. The C. p. affinis subspecies occupies the Isabel and Fernandina Islands in the west Galapagos. The C. p. psittacula subspecies occupy Santa Cruz, Floreana, Santiago, and  Santa Fe in Central and south Galapagos.

What is a large tree finch's habitat?

The range of large tree finch habitats extends to lowland deciduous and montane evergreen forest regions. The altitude range is 984.2-2296.5 ft (300-700 m). They are restricted to regions with tall palo santo, Bursera graveolens, in dry zones of Santa Cruz. They can also be found in local agriculture areas and in the Scalesia zone. During the dry season, they may be found around lower elevations.

Who do large tree finches live with?

Large tree finches live in a group or form a pair bond.

How long does a large tree finch live?

The information on the lifespan of large tree finch species, endemic to the Galapagos Islands is not available. However, their relatives, medium tree finches live up to 15-20 years. However, the most common lifespan is around 5-10 years.

How do they reproduce?

These birds are monogamous and form a long-term pair bond. These birds appear black with a black bill in the breeding season. The breeding depends on rain when there are abundant food resources. The nest is built by the male which is a spherical structure with an opening on the top. The male builds the nest with lichen, grasses, and moss. The female lays around four white eggs with dark spots. The female alone incubates the eggs for 12 days while the male guards the female. Both the male and female feed the young. The young chick fledges around 13-15 days after they hatch.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the largest birds of Camarhynchus is evaluated as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. These birds of the Galapagos Islands are common within their small habitat range. However, a number of factors like introduced parasitic fly and herbivore species, development, climate change, and invasive alien species have created unfavorable surroundings to these birds. Also, they may be susceptible to avian pox.

Large Tree Finch Fun Facts

What do large tree finches look like?

The mature male Camarhynchus psittacula (Gould, 1837) of the nominate species have gray-olive upperparts with black feather centers and short tails. They have white with yellow-buff underparts. There are dark streaks on their flanks and lower breasts while the undertail coverts are not streaked. The underparts are variable with each subspecies. Their head is dark with a black hood and the black color extends to the throat and breast. The parrot-like bill is long with arched culmen. In the breeding season, the bill is black and dull orange with dark culmen otherwise. They have black feet and legs and dark brown eyes. The upper parts of the female are grayish-brown and brown upper wings with two pale wing-bars. They have a gray-brown head with pale supercilium and a dull orange bill with dark culmen. The large tree finch eyesight is well-developed. The young chicks are similar to females with black faces, lower throats, and foreheads.

The male C. p. habeli subspecies are also darker with a longer less arched bill. The male and female C. p. affinis are small in size than nominate male birds and they have smaller bills too.

finch bird

* Please note that this is an image of a finch bird. If you have an image of a large tree finch please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

How cute are they?

Camarhynchus psittacula (Gould, 1837) birds are considered cute even though they are on the grayer side because of their distinct parrot-like bills. Their song is 'chu-tzee chu-tzee chu-tzee' and both sexes sing. The song has varying buzzes and trills like all other Darwin finches.

How do they communicate?

Camarhynchus psittacula (Gould, 1837) communicate using calls and body language. The large tree finch call is a nasal 'tzeeu'.

How big is a large tree finch?

Large tree finches are 5.1 in (12.7 cm) in size. These finches are almost as big as saffron finches.

How fast can a large tree finch fly?

The information on the flight speed of large tree finches is not available.

How much does a large tree finch weigh?

This tree finch bird weighs around 0.03-0.046 lb (13.6-20.8 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name given to the male and female large tree finch.

What would you call a baby large tree finch?

There is no specific name given to the baby large tree finch.

What do they eat?

The large tree finch diet is omnivorous. This large insectivorous tree finch feeds on insects, seeds, and fruits.

Are they dangerous?

No, they are not dangerous to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they would not make good pets.

Did you know...

All Darwin finches have a close relationship with each other and have common derived ancestors of almost 2-3 million years.

The medium tree finch's bill size is between the length of a small tree finch and large tree finch.

Mangrove finches are a relative of this bird and feed on larvae, spiders, vegetable matter, and insects.

Woodpecker finches and small tree finches are most likely to compete with large tree finches for food.

Some predators of tree finches are hawks, snakes, paper wasps, black rats, and cats.

What is the difference between a tree finch and ground finch?

Both finches are of the order Passeriformes. Tree finches are of the Camarhynchus genus and ground finches are of the Geospiza genus. As the name suggests, tree finches forage on barks, and ground finches forage on the ground. This allows them to coexists on the same islands without competition.

What type of beak does a large tree finch have?

The large tree finch beak morphology is parrot-like. The beak is larger and strongly arched and is black or dull orange with dark culmen.

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 American pipit facts and whiskered treeswif facts for kids.

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

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Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

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