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St. Lucia Black Finch - BirdForum Opus

Photo © Mark Harper
Near Bouton, St. Lucia, April 2011
Photo © Joseph Morlan
Praslin, St. Lucia, 28 January 2024
Melanospiza richardsoni


13-14 cm, 5.5 inches. The male is entirely black with pink legs. The female has gray head in contrast to brown back and buffy underparts.

Similar species

Found lower and more concealed than the Lesser Antillean Bullfinch. Both sexes have heavier beaks and more pink legs than the LAB, and additionally have the habit of bobbing tail up and down. Male LAB has rufous throat, while the female has gray-brown head in no contrast to the back and grayish underparts. Legs are grey to black.


Endemic to St. Lucia.


This is a monotypic species.

Black-faced Grassquit has recently been shown to be closely related to this species.


Found in dense understory vegetation often seeking food in the leaf litter.


The diet includes seeds, fruit and insects; it is a ground feeder.

It nests in a spherical nest of twigs built in a low shrub or palm about 2 m above ground.


  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. Raffaele, H, J Wiley, OH Garrido, A Keith, JI Raffaele. 2003. Birds of the West Indies. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691113197
  3. SACC proposal where part 4 describes merging Black-faced Grassquit into the same genus as St. Lucia Black Finch

Recommended Citation

External Links

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