Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Black-headed Greenfinch (Chloris ambigua)


French: Verdier d’Oustalet German: Schwarzkopf-Grünfink Spanish: Verderón cabecinegro

Chrysomitris ambigua


, 1896,

Yun Chou, near Mienning, Yunnan, China


Has been treated as conspecific with C. spinoides and C. monguilloti. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. taylori (Kinnear, 1939) – S China (SE Xizang) and extreme NE India (NE Arunachal Pradesh)#R#R.
  • C. a. ambigua (Oustalet, 1896) – S China (W & S Sichuan, W & SE Yunnan, W Guizhou), NE & E Myanmar, N Laos and NW Vietnam (W Tonkin); non-breeding NW Thailand.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–14 cm. Medium-sized, dark-headed finch with pale conical bill, bright yellow wing-flash and notched tail. Male nominate race has forehead to hindcrown,... read more


    Song a long, drawn-out wheezing "wheeeeeeuu, wheeeeeeuu", repeated at regular intervals,... read more


    Montane and submontane open conifer and deciduous woodlands and forest, also forest edges,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly a variety of seeds. Forages in bushes, in low vegetation and on ground. In pairs and in small family groups; in non-breeding season... read more


    Little known. Season Jul–Oct. Nest a neat cup placed on tree branch, usually in pine (Pinus). Clutch 3–4 eggs, pale... read more


    Resident and partial migrant. Those breeding at high altitudes move to lower levels within range;... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common in most of range; scarce in N Laos. Status in NE India uncertain; presumed to be a non-breeding visitor from adjacent higher areas of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Black-headed Greenfinch (Chloris ambigua). 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 25 February 2020).