Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Olive-backed Euphonia (Euphonia gouldi)


French: Organiste olive German: Olivrückenorganist Spanish: Eufonia olivácea

Euphonia Gouldi

P. L. Sclater

, 1857,



Proposed race loetscheri (described from Dos Amates, NE of Catemaco, in Veracruz) considered inseparable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. g. gouldi P. L. Sclater, 1857 – Gulf–Caribbean slope of Mexico (S Veracruz E to S Quintana Roo, S to N Oaxaca and N Chiapas) S through N Guatemala and Belize to Honduras.
  • E. g. praetermissa (J. L. Peters, 1929) – extreme SE Honduras, E Nicaragua, E Costa Rica (locally also on Pacific slope in Guanacaste) and NW Panama (to NW Veraguas).
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10 cm; 10·9–16 g. Small euphonia with thick and stubby bill, both sexes with drab female-type plumage. Male nominate race has yellow on forehead extending back to top of... read more


    Commonest calls are a rolling “churrr-churrr” or “chur-chur-chur” with metallic quality, and... read more


    Tall humid and wet lowland and foothill forest, and tall second growth and shady clearings adjacent... read more

    Food and feeding

    Known to eat wide variety of small berries, including Anthurium (Araceae), Miconia and other melastomes, Trema (... read more


    Breeding reported in May in Belize and Feb–Jul in Costa Rica. Nest a globular structure with side entrance, made from thin roots, rhizomes... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to locally common. A Caribbean lowland species, population now much reduced by loss of rainforest in region. Occurs in a number of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2020). Olive-backed Euphonia (Euphonia gouldi). 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).