Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Near Threatened

Blue Finch (Porphyrospiza caerulescens)


French: Porphyrin à bec jaune German: Kobalttangare Spanish: Yal azul

Tanagra caerulescens


, 1830,

interior of Bahia, Brazil


In past often placed in Cardinalidae because of resemblance to Passerina, and sometimes included in that genus (but see Genus account). Monotypic.


C, NE & E Brazil from S Mato Grosso, SE Pará, E Maranhão and NE Rio Grande do Norte#R S to Goiás, Piauí, W Bahia and W & C Minas Gerais, and E & S Bolivia (E Beni and SE Santa Cruz, probably also Chuquisaca).

Descriptive notes

12·5 cm; 13 g. A slim finch with relatively long tail, and long bill with only slightly curved culmen. Male is bright indigo-blue throughout, becoming blackish on... read more


Sibilant 3-note song a repetitive “swee-sweeet-zhweew, swee-sweeet-zhweew, ...”. Male... read more


Open savanna and cerrado, and associated strongly with grassland. In particular a... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on invertebrates and seeds. Gizzard samples contained 80% dry seeds (45 seeds of grasses and two unidentified) and 20% arthropods,... read more


Very little information. Males begin to sing at end of dry season and beginning of wet season, suggesting breeding mainly or strictly at... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Uncommon to rare, and patchily distributed. Now rare and local in many formerly occupied areas in Brazil, and... read more

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. (2020). Blue Finch (Porphyrospiza caerulescens). 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 23 January 2020).