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Yellow-bridled Finch
Melanodera Xanthonogramma

Yellow-bridled Finch
Yal Andino
Melanodera xanthogramma
Length: 175mm. Sexes unlike. Male: bill grey; iris dark brown; forehead and eyebrow olivaceous yellow; crown, hind neck and above mostly bluish plumbeous grey; margins of feathers on back are yellowish olive and show small blackish streaks, not present in all individuals. Lores black; auriculars grey stained yellowish olive; chin and throat black outlined entirely with olivaceous yellow; centre of neck. breast and flanks bluish plumbeous grey; belly yellowish white; abdomen and undertail coverts white. Lesser wing coverts yellowish olive; median and greater coverts yellowish olive to base and broadly margined bluish plumbeous grey; remiges blackish margined with grey that is stained olivaceous to base of primaries; tail feathers blackish with grey margins and a wide white blotch becoming narrower on the three outer feathers on either side of the tail. Legs grey.
Average weight: 43g. Female: bill, iris and legs similar to male; crown and hind neck whitish buff finely striated blackish brown; back, lower back and rump brown with broad blackish brown streaks; uppertail coverts whitish buff striated blackish brown; tail feathers dark brown margined whitish and a white spot to outer feathers on either side of tail. Malar streak and supercilium whitish buff with copious fine blackish brown striation; throat, foreneck, breast, flanks and belly whitish buff striated dark brown; abdomen and undertail coverts whitish. Wings dark brown margined with whitish.
Young males resemble females, and there are males that undergo a yellowish olive phase. Habitat and behaviour: it inhabits steppes with grasses and scrub as well as ridges, where it is found in pairs or sometimes in quite large groups. Tame by nature, it often perches on the ground or atop rocks. It feeds on seeds and fruit.
Like several other species that inhabit extremely harsh climates, both very low temperatures and strong gusts of wind, this species has notably long wings. Similar species: it may be confused with the Black-throated Finch (Melanodera melanodera), but the superciliary stripe and the yellow malar streak are diagnostic in males. Females also bear a resemblance to the abovementioned species, but the Yellow-bridled Finch does not have a conspicuous supercilium and is darker overall.
Range: from Neuquén to southern Tierra del Fuego along the Andean region; from Neuquén to southern Santa Cruz, the race Melanodera xanthogramma barrosi is found, and on Tierra del Fuego, the race Melanodera xanthogramma xanthogramma occurs.
Illustrated Handbook of the Birds of Patagonia
Kindless: Kovacs Family

Photographs: Mariano Diez Peña

Birding Patagonia • Birdwatcing in Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina and Chile.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction of photographs is forbidden without permission from the authors.
Photographs on the website: Mariano Diez Peña