Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Black-and-chestnut Warbling-finch (Poospiza whitii)


French: Chipiu noiron German: Rotbrust-Finkentangare Spanish: Monterita sietevestidos andina

Poospiza whitii

P. L. Sclater

, 1883,

Cosquín, Córdoba, Argentina


Usually treated as conspecific with P. nigrorufa, but differs in its dark slaty-grey vs dark olive-grey upperparts (1); dark chestnut vs milky-rufous chin to breast and flanks (3); twice as much white on the tips of the outer rectrices (2); smaller bill (effect size –2.3, score 2). Race wagneri poorly differentiated from whitii, and perhaps better synonymized. Split recently given support by molecular analysis#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. w. wagneri Stolzmann, 1926 – La Paz (around Mt Chulumaní), in W Bolivia.
  • P. w. whitii P. L. Sclater, 1883 – Bolivia (Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca and Tarija) and NW & NC Argentina (Salta, Jujuy and Tucumán S to E San Juan and N Mendoza, also W Córdoba and highlands of San Luis).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm. 12–18·3 g (nominate). A medium-sized warbling-finch with rather pointed bill (shorter than in P. nigrorufa), also long and somewhat round-tipped tail.... read more


    Song (given by male alone, from highest available perch) differs in various respects from that of... read more


    Occurs in closed to semi-closed xerophytic to semi-humid scrub (Prosopis, Geoffroea... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little information on diet. Forages on ground, or near ground; rarely observed any more than 3 m above ground, except when singing when... read more


    Eggs recorded in Jan in La Paz (Bolivia, race wagneri), and in Argentina egg dates for nominate race in Nov (Córdoba) and Apr (... read more


    Largely sedentary. Nominate race apparently makes seasonal movements in drier parts of its range, e... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Nominate race fairly common in most of range, patchy and uncommon in N part; race wagneri uncommon to rare.

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Black-and-chestnut Warbling-finch (Poospiza whitii). 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 21 February 2020).