Green-faced parrotfinch (Erythrura viridifacies)

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Green-faced parrotfinch in hand
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Green-faced parrotfinch fact file

Green-faced parrotfinch description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyEstrildidae
GenusErythrura (1)

This tiny and rare bird is found only in the Philippines. Its plumage is mostly green except for its distinctive long, pointed, red tail and the darker edges to the wing feathers (2) (3). It has a black bill, dark brown eyes and pinkish legs (3). Females possess a slightly shorter tail than the males, and immature green-faced parrotfinches are generally paler (3). The song of the green-faced parrotfinch is seldom heard, but its contact call is a short, high-pitched tsit tsit (2) (3).

Size
Length: 12 - 13 cm (2)
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Green-faced parrotfinch biology

The little-known green-faced parrotfinch feeds primarily on seeds, particularly those of bamboo (4) (5). It is thought that the breeding season in this bird may extend from March to April, when an average of three eggs are laid and incubated for 14 days (4).

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Green-faced parrotfinch range

Endemic to the Philippines, where it is primarily known from the island of Luzon, but it has also recently been recorded on Negros and Panay (4).

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Green-faced parrotfinch habitat

The green-faced parrotfinch inhabits forest, particularly forest with climbing bamboo (5), and grasslands adjacent to forest (3). It usually occurs above elevations of 1,000 meters, but can be found in lowlands (3).

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Green-faced parrotfinch status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

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Green-faced parrotfinch threats

Its restricted distribution and specific diet makes the green-faced parrotfinch particularly vulnerable to any habitat destruction. A little human disturbance of the forest appears to benefit the green-faced parrotfinch as it results in greater numbers and varieties of bamboo (4). However, complete clearance of the land is not compatible with the requirements, and thus survival, of this species (4). Another potential threat arises from capture for the live bird trade (4); in 1935 large numbers of the green-faced parrotfinch were captured on Luzon, and hundreds were exported to the USA (2).

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Green-faced parrotfinch conservation

The green-faced parrotfinch has been recorded from two protected areas, the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park and Bataan Natural Park/Subic Bay (4), which may offer some degree of protection. Further research is required to fully understand this species ecology, requirements and current status, which would inform actions required to ensure its survival (4).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For further information on the green-faced parrotfinch see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

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Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (September, 2007)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. BirdLife International (September, 2007)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=8685&m=0
  3. Kennedy, R.S., Gonzales, P.C., Dickinson, E.C., Miranda Jr, H.C. and Fisher, T.H. (2000) A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  4. BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
  5. Allen, D. (1999) Green-faced parrotfinch Erythrura viridifacies in northern Luzon, Philippines. Forktail, 15: 103 - .
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Image credit

Green-faced parrotfinch in hand  
Green-faced parrotfinch in hand

© Jon Hornbuckle

Jon Hornbuckle
jonhornbuckle@yahoo.com

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