Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Large Ground-finch (Geospiza magnirostris)


French: Géospize à gros bec German: Großgrundfink Spanish: Pinzón de Darwin picogordo

Geospiza magnirostris


, 1837,

Galapagos Islands


Present species hybridizes rarely with G. propinqua on Genovesa; on Santa Cruz, large-scale hybridization with G. fortis thought to have occurred. Race darwini, commonly placed in G. conirostris (often also including G. propinqua), not sampled in recent molecular analyses, but on geographical grounds and given its slightly larger bill than G. conirostris it is here assigned to present species#R; alternatively it may represent a population of hybrid magnirostris × conirostris#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. m. darwini Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1899 – Darwin I and Wolf I, in extreme NW Galapagos Is.
  • G. m. magnirostris Gould, 1837 – Galapagos Is: islands of Pinta, Marchena, Genovesa, Fernandina, Isabela, Santiago, Rábida, Pinzón, Baltra, Santa Cruz and Santa Fe; formerly also Floreana and satellites.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16 cm; 27–39 g. A large ground-finch with massive bill often as deep as it is long and appearing as deep as entire head, base of lower mandible thick and... read more


    Classic song a nasal repetition of 2 or 3 notes, “chzweee-chzwee”, notes lower in pitch... read more


    Arid scrub in lowland areas.

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on large seeds, fruits and caterpillars. In one study on Genovesa I, adults of this species, G. difficilis and G.... read more


    Season on Genovesa Jan–May, beginning soon after first rains; up to four clutches laid within one season. Nest built by male, a... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common and widespread. Present on most islands of Galapagos. Apparently now extinct on Floreana I. Recent increase in prevalence of avian pox in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Large Ground-finch (Geospiza magnirostris). 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 21 May 2019).