Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Band-tailed Sierra-finch (Corydospiza alaudina)


French: Incaspize à queue barrée German: Lerchentangare Spanish: Yal platero

Fringilla alaudina


, 1833,

Valparaíso, Chile


Races appear to group by latitude, with smaller, darker races (humboldti, bipartita, bracki and excelsa) in N and two larger, paler ones (nominate and venturii) in S, but differences actually minor and may in part reflect Gloger’s and Bergmann’s rules; also no clear vocal differences involved#R. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. humboldti (Koepcke, 1963) – SW Ecuador and NW Peru.
  • C. a. bipartita (J. T. Zimmer, 1924) – highlands of Ecuador S through coastal slope in Peru to extreme N Chile (Putre, in Arica–Parinacota).
  • C. a. bracki (O’Neill & T. A. Parker, 1997) – Huallaga Valley, in C Peru.
  • C. a. excelsa (Berlepsch, 1906) – S Peru (highlands of Arequipa and Puno) and W Bolivia.
  • C. a. venturii (E. J. O. Hartert, 1909) – NW Argentina Jujuy S to Catamarca; also Córdoba and San Luis).
  • C. a. alaudina (Kittlitz, 1833) – C Chile from Antofagasta S to region of Los Ríos.
  • Descriptive notes

    13·5–14·5 cm; 17–30 g. A medium-sized, slim-shaped sierra-finch with long pointed bill and relatively long tail. Male nominate race has head to... read more


    Song, from top of bush or rock, sometimes in flight, geographically variable. In Chile, a 2-note... read more


    In C Chile, open grassy slopes, often with exposed rocks and moderate shrub growth; in coastal Peru... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds and invertebrates; studies in winter months in C Chile determined that diet consisted entirely of seeds. On basis of diversity of... read more


    Season Sept–Feb (egg dates Sept–Nov) in C Chile; fledglings observed late May in S Peru (Puno), Jun in Bolivia (La Paz) and Mar in... read more


    Sedentary in most of range. In Chile, nominate race at least partially migratory, e.g. a breeding... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common to uncommon throughout its large range. Occurs in few protected sites, perhaps one of the largest being La Campana National Park, in C... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. (2019). Band-tailed Sierra-finch (Corydospiza alaudina). 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 May 2019).