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Espanola Ground Finch - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by momo
Isla Española (Galapagos), Ecuador, 31 December 2008

Alternative name: Espanola Cactus Finch

Geospiza conirostris


13-15 cm, with a very strong bill
Males are essentially black with white feather edges to vent area. Females are very dark in the head area while the rest of the body is more clearly streaked and with especially the rear of the underside having a paler ground color.

Similar species

Photo © by NJLarsen
Isla Española, Galapagos, Ecuador, 15 August 2015

This species has a bill somewhat similar to the allopatric Large Ground Finch but more pointed (length of upper mandible > depth at base).


Española in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. It has been recorded as a vagrant on Daphne Major, 100 miles from Española.


This is a monotypic species[1]:

  • G. conirostris - Española island

Genovesa Cactus Finch and Espanola Ground Finch were previously considered one species, the Large Cactus Finch, but they are no longer considered each others closest relative.


Coastal zone and adjacent dryer areas of the island. This species is strongly connected with prickly pear cactus but also occur in dry scrub.

Female or immature male; notice the structure of the bill
Photo © by NJLarsen
Isla Española, Galapagos, Ecuador, 15 August 2015


Diet includes flowers, fruits and stems of the prickly pear cactus, but also often feeds on the ground presumably for insects and seeds.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill F, D Donsker & P Rasmussen (Eds). 2020. IOC World Bird List (v10.1). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.10.1. Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Birdforum thread with discussions of taxonomy of Darwin's finches. The section following post #38 (at least) is relevant for this species
  4. Jaramillo, A. and C.J. Sharpe (2020). Española Ground-Finch (Geospiza conirostris), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.larcaf2.01

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