Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Blue-faced Parrotfinch (Erythrura trichroa)


French: Diamant de Kittlitz German: Dreifarben-Papageiamadine Spanish: Diamante cariazul

Fringilla trichroa


, 1833,

Kosrae, Caroline Islands


In the past sometimes placed with E. coloria and E. papuana in a separate genus, Trichroa. Subspecific epithet cyanofrons sometimes spelt cyanifrons or cyaneifrons, but present spelling has priority. Proposed race macgillivrayi, described from NE Australia (Lloyd I, off NE Queensland), apparently indistinguishable in plumage or size from birds of this species in New Guinea; treated as synonymous with sigillifer. Name of race sigillifer spelt sigillifera in HBW, but is a noun and therefore invariable#R. Ten subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. t. sanfordi Stresemann, 1931 – NC & SC Sulawesi.
  • E. t. modesta Wallace, 1862 – N Moluccas (Halmahera, Ternate, Tidore, Bacan).
  • E. t. pinaiae Stresemann, 1914 – S Moluccas (Buru, Seram).
  • E. t. pelewensis Nagamichi Kuroda, 1922 – Palau Is.
  • E. t. clara Takatsukasa & Yamashina, 1931 – Chuuk Is and Pohnpei Is, in E Caroline Is.
  • E. t. trichroa (Kittlitz, 1833) – Kosrae (extreme E Carolines).
  • E. t. sigillifer (De Vis, 1897) – New Guinea and some offshore islands (Manam I, Karkar I, D’Entrecasteaux Is and Louisiade Archipelago), Bismarck Archipelago (Long I, Umboi I, New Britain, New Ireland, Feni Is) and NE Australia (NE Queensland).
  • E. t. eichhorni E. J. O. Hartert, 1924 – St Matthias Is (in N Bismarck Archipelago).
  • E. t. woodfordi Rothschild#R & E. J. O. Hartert, 1900 – Bougainville I and Solomon Is (Kolombangara, Guadalcanal).
  • E. t. cyanofrons E. L. Layard, 1878 – Vanuatu (including Banks Is) and Loyalty Is.
  • Recently recorded, race uncertain, in Taliabu (Sula Is)#R.

    Descriptive notes

    12 cm; 12–16 g (sigillifer). Male nominate race has most of crown and face deep blue, hindcrown to back and upperwing green with golden gloss, uppertail-... read more


    Call a thin, high-pitched "tsit-tsit", given in flight, described also as a short, thin,... read more


    Hill forest and montane forest and forest edge, rainforest, and dense secondary growth; usually... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly grass seeds, also seeds of bamboo, figs (Ficus) and casuarina (Casuarina), and small berries; also small insects,... read more


    Season Oct–Feb/Mar in Vanuatu, and Nov–Apr (in pre-wet and wet season) in Australia. Male bundles nesting material in bill,... read more


    Mainly resident; in New Guinea possibly nomadic. In Australia, moves to coastal lowlands in non-... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common in much of range; shy, and probably often overlooked as a result of its inconspicuous behaviour. Appears generally rare and local in W... read more

    Recommended citation

    Payne, R. (2018). Blue-faced Parrotfinch (Erythrura trichroa). 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 March 2018).