True Finches

Evening Grosbeak.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
many: see list in text

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, the many species of which are found chiefly in the northern hemisphere, but also to a limited extent in Africa and South America.

They are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have 12 tail feathers and 9 primaries. These birds have a strong flight and most sing well. Nests are basket-shaped and built in trees.

There are two main subfamilies. The first, the Fringillinae, contains only three species, which feed their young insects rather than seeds:

The much larger second group, the Carduelinae contains several genera which feed their young on seeds:
  • Serinus, canaries, seedeaters, serins and some siskins
  • Carduelis, linnets, redpolls, goldfinches, greenfinches, some siskins.
  • Carpodacus, rosefinches
  • Loxia, crossbills
  • Mycerobas, grosbeaks
  • Neospiza, Sao Tomé Grosbeak
  • Linurgus, Oriole Finch
  • Rhynchostruthus, Golden-winged Grosbeak
  • Leucosticte, mountain finches
  • Calacanthis, Red-browed Finch
  • Rhodopechys, Trumpeter Finch and relatives
  • Uragus, Long-tailed Rosefinch
  • Urocynchramus, Przewalski's Rosefinch
  • Pinicola, pine grosbeaks
  • Haematospiza, Scarlet Finch
  • Neospiza, Sao Tomé Grosbeak
  • Pyrrhula, bullfinches
  • Coccothraustes, Hawfinch
  • Eophona, Oriental grosbeaks
  • Hesperiphona, evening grosbeaks
  • Pyrrhoplectes, Gold-naped Finch

There are many other birds in other groups which are called finches, notably the very similar-looking Estrildids or waxbills, which occur in the Old World tropics and Australia.

Some of the closely related sparrows are also named as "finches", as are some buntingss.

  • Cardueline finch species without articles and not listed elsewhere yet:
    • Sao Tome Grosbeak, Neospiza concolor
    • Oriole Finch, Linurgus olivaceus
    • Golden-winged Grosbeak, Rhynchostruthus socotranus
    • Pine Grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator
    • Crimson-browed Finch, Pinicola subhimachalus
    • Hawfinch, Coccothraustes coccothraustes
    • Evening Grosbeak, Coccothraustes vespertinus
    • Hooded Grosbeak, Coccothraustes abeillei
    • Yellow-billed Grosbeak, Eophona migratoria
    • Japanese Grosbeak, Eophona personata
    • Black-and-yellow Grosbeak, Mycerobas icterioides
    • Collared Grosbeak, Mycerobas affinis
    • Spot-winged Grosbeak, Mycerobas melanozanthos
    • White-winged Grosbeak, Mycerobas carnipes
    • Gold-naped Finch, Pyrrhoplectes epauletta
    • Spectacled Finch, Callacanthis burtoni
    • Crimson-winged Finch, Rhodopechys sanguinea
    • Trumpeter Finch, Rhodopechys githaginea
    • Mongolian Finch, Rhodopechys mongolica
    • Desert Finch, Rhodopechys obsoleta
    • Long-tailed Rosefinch, Uragus sibiricus
    • Scarlet Finch Haematospiza sipahi