Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Long-tailed Reed-finch (Donacospiza albifrons)


French: Donacospize des marais German: Riedfinkentangare Spanish: Cachilo canela

Sylvia albifrons


, 1817,





Bolivia (Beni); SE Paraguay and SE Brazil (S from S Paraná, S São Paulo, S Minas Gerais and W Rio de Janeiro) S to NE Argentina (Misiones, Corrientes, E Formosa and E Chaco S to E Córdoba and NE Buenos Aires) and Uruguay.

Descriptive notes

15 cm; 14–16·5 g. A small and slim finch with long tail, short and rounded wings, and relatively small and well-pointed bill; tail feathers pointed (and often... read more


Song a pleasant series of two or three elements repeated, e.g. “twee-cha twee-cha twee-cha... read more


Marshes and reedbeds with tall emergent vegetation (Typha, Eryngium, Scirpus... read more

Food and feeding

Primarily insects; will also take seeds. Forages by probing in emergent vegetation. Sometimes follows army ants (Formicidae). In pairs and... read more


Season Oct–Feb; juveniles seen in Jul in Bolivia. Performs short song flight, flying directly upwards a few metres, before gliding down to... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common where its tall-grass marsh habitat exists. Main threat is the draining of wetlands.

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. (2020). Long-tailed Reed-finch (Donacospiza albifrons). 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 19 February 2020).