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Grassland Yellow-Finch
Sicalis luteola

Grassland Yellow-Finch
Sicalis luteola
Length: 142mm. Sexes slightly unlike. Male: bill greyish brown above and pale grey on mandible; iris dark brown; lores and orbital ring yellow; auriculars yellowish olive; upper part of head and hind neck yellowish olive striated blackish; back olivaceous brown with blackish streaks and a few yellowish olive margins; lower back and rump yellowish olive; uppertail coverts greyish brown; rectrices blackish brown with fine grey margins to central rectrices and olivaceous in the rest. Chin, throat and underparts mostly deep yellow; the breast and flanks are olivaceous with grey mottling. Lesser wing coverts yellowish olive, remainder of coverts olivaceous brown with greyish margins; remiges blackish brown, tertiaries yellowish olive with grey margins. Legs pale brown. Average weight: 21g. Female: coloration is paler and greyer and slightly smaller in size and weight: 137mm and 19g. Juveniles of both sexes have broader streaks on back than adults, the breast shows thin blackish streaks and coloration is drabber than the female’s. Habitat and behaviour: the Grassland Yellow-Finch inhabits open grasslands with bunchgrass and reeds where it is very common and gathers in enormous flocks; during the breeding season they split up in pairs without losing contact between them. They feed on seeds and grains. Prodigious singers, out of the breeding season they sing in unison from a tree perch. During the summer they sing individually and the male’s display begins with a series of highly musical notes, uttered from a perch, then it takes off and glides downwards to finally resume its perch, never interrupting the song. These birds nest at a low height or directly on the ground, concealing the nest amongst the grasses. It is a deep cup made of straw and the interior is lined with hair. Clutch size: up to five eggs which are white with brown and grey mottling. Range: distributed throughout Patagonia from Neuquén and Río Negro to Tierra del Fuego, where it is a sporadic visitor.
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