Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Chinese Grosbeak (Eophona migratoria)


French: Gros-bec migrateur German: Weißhand-Kernbeißer Spanish: Picogordo chino
Other common names: Yellow-billed Grosbeak

Eophona melanura migratoria

E. J. O. Hartert

, 1903,

Sidemi River, southern Ussuriland, Russia


Geographical variation in plumage weak, not constant, and intermediates occur. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. m. migratoria E. J. O. Hartert, 1903 – E Siberia and Russian Far East (E Transbaikalia, middle Amurland and S Ussuriland), NE China (Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang) and Korea; migrates to S Japan (S Honshu and Kyushu), E China (Guangxi E to Fujian) and Taiwan, rarely further S.
  • E. m. sowerbyi Riley, 1915 – C & EC China (W Sichuan and Hubei E to Shanghai); migrates to Yunnan.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–18 cm; 40–57 g (China). Medium-large, large-billed grosbeak with long forked tail. Male nominate race has head to upper nape, chin and throat black, bordered... read more


    Song is a loud series of whistles, transcribed as "chee chee choree kirichoo", similar to... read more


    Inhabits edges and clearings in lowland mixed or deciduous forests, mostly of oak (Quercus... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds of various trees and shrubs, also some fruit, including berries; also insects. Nestlings fed mostly with insects and larvae. Forages... read more


    Season May–Jul. Nest a small, compact cup of dry grass, plant fibres, roots and strips of bark intertwined with dense foliage, placed... read more


    Migratory. Nominate race migrates between S and SSW to winter quarters in S China and Taiwan, also... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common to scarce or irregular. Has bred in SC Japan (Kyushu); recently (2003) bred in Hong Kong; presumed to have bred in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Chinese Grosbeak (Eophona migratoria). 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).