Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Critically Endangered

Gough Finch (Rowettia goughensis)


French: Rowettie de Gough German: Goughammertangare Spanish: Yal de Gough

Nesospiza goughensis

W. E. Clarke

, 1904,

Gough Island




Gough I, including vegetated offshore stacks, in S Atlantic.

Descriptive notes

23–26 cm; 50–56 g. A large, handsome finch with long, relatively slender bill. Male is mostly olive-green, with black lores and bib highlighted by pale, yellowish... read more


Male advertises territory with high-pitched whistled song, “tsweeeep”; female responds with deeper... read more


Occurs in most habitats from boulder beaches to highest mountain peaks, 900 m above sea-level;... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes insects, spiders (Araneae), seeds and berries. Seeds mainly of sedges (Carex insularis, Carex thouarsii,... read more


Season Sept–Dec (mainly Oct–Nov), starting earlier at lower elevations; one exceptional record of laying in Aug; single-brooded. Pair... read more


Resident. Among ringed individuals (including fledglings), maximum recorded movement over periods... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species occurring only on Gough I, within Gough Island EBA. Rare to locally fairly common. Breeding population estimated in 2007 at... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Gough Finch (Rowettia goughensis). 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 30 March 2020).