Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Patagonian Sierra-finch (Phrygilus patagonicus)


French: Phrygile de Patagonie German: Graukopf-Ammertangare Spanish: Yal patagón

Phrygilus gayi patagonicus


, 1923,

Good Success Bay, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina


Originally described as Fringilla formosa, but that name invalid, as preoccupied. See comments under P. gayi. Monotypic.


Maule region of Chile and forested areas of adjacent Argentina (S from Neuquén) S to Tierra del Fuego. In winter also N to Valparaíso and Metropolitan Santiago regions.

Descriptive notes

14·5–15 cm; 19·1–27·4 g. Male has head to upper nape and upper breast blue-grey, lores blackish; upperparts russet, slightly more greenish... read more


Song a musical but repetitive series of notes given in alternating pairs, “tweep-twop, tweep-... read more


Various types of forest, including those dominated by southern beech (Nothofagus) and ... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds of grasses, also arthropods; also small forest fruits such as Fuchsia magellanica, Berberis and maqui (... read more


Season Nov–Feb. Nest a cup made from grasses, lined with softer material, usually placed in dense grasses or other vegetation on ground, or... read more


Mostly sedentary. Some move N after breeding, e.g. specimens from Metropolitan Region of Santiago,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common throughout its range. Present in various protected sites, such as national parks or national reserves, in both Chile and Argentina. As the... read more

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. (2020). Patagonian Sierra-finch (Phrygilus patagonicus). 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 February 2020).