Lesser Antillean bullfinch (Loxigilla noctis)

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Male lesser Antillean bullfinch on branch
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Lesser Antillean bullfinch fact file

Lesser Antillean bullfinch description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyEmberizidae
GenusLoxigilla (1)

Found only on the Lesser Antillean chain of islands in the Caribbean, the Lesser Antillean bullfinch (Loxigilla noctis) is a stout finch with a very thick, short bill that is adapted to take the husks off seeds. The Lesser Antillean bullfinch displays marked sexual dimorphism, the male being primarily identified by a diagnostic reddish-brown throat and chin, which sits in stark contrast to the otherwise predominantly black plumage. There is also an inconspicuous red spot above the lores (the space between the eye and the bill), and the under-tail coverts often have a wash of reddish-brown (2)

The female Lesser Antillean bullfinch has dark olive-grey upperparts, with some brown on the wings, and greyish underparts. The under-tail coverts are tawny. The Lesser Antillean bullfinch may be further identified by its call, which is a simple twittering with an occasional harsh note, sharp trill or a sharp ‘tseep-tseep(2).

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Lesser Antillean bullfinch biology

The Lesser Antillean bullfinch usually builds a globular nest in a bush or low tree, with the entrance at the side of the nest. Usually two or three spotted eggs are laid. Like other bullfinches, the Lesser Antillean bullfinch probably feeds mainly on seeds, by skilfully removing the husks with its large bill. It may also feed on the buds and petals of flowers, as well as on fruit, such as plantain, coffee and peppers (2).

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Lesser Antillean bullfinch range

The Lesser Antillean bullfinch is confined to the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean (3).

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Lesser Antillean bullfinch habitat

The Lesser Antillean bullfinch is typically found in the shrubby undergrowth of forests, but may also inhabit gardens on Barbados (2).

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Lesser Antillean bullfinch status

The Lesser Antillean bullfinch is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern

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Lesser Antillean bullfinch threats

While the status of the Lesser Antillean bullfinch has not yet been fully evaluated, this species is generally thought to be common throughout much of its range (4).

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Lesser Antillean bullfinch conservation

In the absence of any major threats to the Lesser Antillean bullfinch, it has not been the target of any known conservation measures.

ARKive is supported by OTEP, a joint programme of funding from the UK FCO and DFID which provides support to address priority environmental issues in the Overseas Territories, and Defra
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Find out more

Find out more about the Lesser Antillean bullfinch and other birds:

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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

Coverts
Small feathers concealing the bases of larger flight feathers, usually on the wings or tail.
Sexual dimorphism
When males and females of the same species differ in appearance.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (March, 2011)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. Bond, J. (1993) A Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies. Peterson Field Guides, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York.
  3. BirdLife International (March, 2011)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=112513
  4. Raffaele, H.A., Wiley, J., Garrido, O., Keith, A. and Raffaele, J. (2003) Birds of the West Indies. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
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Image credit

Male lesser Antillean bullfinch on branch  
Male lesser Antillean bullfinch on branch

© Balcaen / Biosphoto

Biosphoto
16 rue Velouterie
Avignon
84000
France
Tel: +33 (490) 162 042
Fax: +33 (663) 208 434
http://www.biosphoto.com/

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