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Vampire Ground Finch - BirdForum Opus

Geospiza septentrionalis

Identification

11-12 cm with a very pointed bill
Full plumage male is black with white edges to under-tail coverts.
Female has dark olive-brown head (hint of buffy eye-ring) and upper-side with contrasting feather edges more prominent on the back. Wing coverts are strongly edged cinnamon producing impression of wing bars, more narrowly edged on flight feathers. Under-side is buff with darker streaking, getting paler on under-tail coverts to whitish buff.
Bill in both sexes range from brownish with yellow tip and orange at base during breeding to orange-yellow outside. Eyes and legs are dark.

Distribution

Darwin and Wolf islands in Galapagos Islands (Ecuador).

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species1.

Until recently, this species was included under Sharp-beaked Ground Finch

Habitat

Year round found in low elevation (mostly coastal) dry scrub dominated by a few species and supplemented with grasses and a few herbs.

Behaviour

During the dry season, the very sharp point of the beak is used to peck at the base of feathers of seabirds such as Nazca Boobies to obtain blood for feeding. Additionally during that season utilizes regurgitated catch of the birds. In wet season switches to seeds, insects and other invertebrates.

Vocalisation

Is described as varying between the islands.

References

  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. Swash, A & R Still 2005. Birds, Mammals and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands, 2nd ed. Christopher Helm and Wildguides Ldt. ISBN 978-0-7136-7551-1
  3. del Hoyo, J., N. Collar, and C.J. Sharpe (2020). Vampire Ground-Finch (Geospiza septentrionalis), 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.shbgrf1.01

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