Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Ash-breasted Sierra-finch (Geospizopsis plebejus)


French: Haplospize plébéien German: Aschbrust-Ammertangare Spanish: Yal plebeyo

Phrygilus plebejus


, 1844,

no locality = highlands of Junín, Peru


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. p. ocularis (P. L. Sclater, 1859) – Andes of Ecuador S to N Peru (N of Marañón Valley).
  • G. p. plebejus (Tschudi, 1844) – Andes of Peru (S of Marañón Valley), N Chile (S to Antofagasta) and W Bolivia S to NW & WC Argentina (to Mendoza).
  • G. p. naroskyi (Nores & Yzurieta, 1983) – NC Argentina (Sierra de Córdoba).
  • Descriptive notes

    11–11·5 cm; 13–17·4 g. A small, relatively short-tailed sierra-finch. Male nominate race has greyish face, paler grey on lores and supercilium; crown to back brownish-grey... read more


    Song a high-pitched, insect-like dry trill followed by shorter “chip” notes, “tzzzzzzzz chip chipa... read more


    Various open highland habitats, from flat dry grassy puna to rocky slopes, edge of ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily seeds, also arthropods. Forages in small flocks on ground; sometimes in mixed flocks with Sicalis olivascens.


    Season Oct–Jul, apparently timed to coincide with end of dry season, e.g. Oct–Nov in N Chile, Oct in Bolivia, Jun–Jul in S Peru (and Mar–... read more


    Appears to be sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common or very common throughout its large range. Occurs in some protected areas, such as Lauca National Park and Las Vicuñas National Reserve (N... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. (2020). Ash-breasted Sierra-finch (Geospizopsis plebejus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 February 2020).