Family Finches (Fringillidae)


Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch (Fringilla polatzeki)


French: Pinson de Grande Canarie German: Gran-Canaria-Fink Spanish: Pinzón azul de Gran Canaria

Fringilla teydea polatzeki

E. J. O. Hartert

, 1905,

Gran Canaria


Until recently considered conspecific with F. teydea, but initial molecular evidence#R precipitated an integrative study#R also demonstrating minor plumage, medium morphometric and major vocal distinctions: differs mainly by its often more distinct velvet-black band above bill-base (ns); much paler, virtually white, tips to wing-coverts and more white on belly and flanks (2); paler, greyer blue on upperparts and breast (1); smaller size (effect size for male wing based on published data#R –3.69, score 2); higher frequency range in song (effect size on published data#R 4.22, score 2); and greater frequency change from start to end of first phase of song (effect size on published data#R 9.11, score 3). A score of 11 was reached by independent assessors#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Gran Canaria, C Canary Is.

Descriptive notes

16–17 cm; mean male 28·3 g, mean female 27·1 g. Adult male is smaller than formerly conspecific F. teydea (shorter wings and marginally smaller bill), with a blacker... read more


Song is higher-pitched than that of formerly conspecific F. teydea, the notes being more... read more


Forests of Canary pine (Pinus canariensis) mainly between c. 700 m and 1200 m; like F... read more

Food and feeding

Not well studied, but diet and foraging behaviour both presumably very similar to F. teydea, including general dependence on seeds... read more


Recent detailed study found that laying is usually initiated between mid Apr and late May (65·7%) and peaks during mid to late May, but... read more


Resident and generally very sedentary, making only very local movements within pine forests.... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Madeira and the Canary Islands EBA. Estimated global population just 120–132 pairs and is arguably Europe’s rarest breeding... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Gran Canaria Blue Chaffinch (Fringilla polatzeki). 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).