Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Peruvian Sierra-finch (Phrygilus punensis)


French: Phrygile du Pérou German: Buschammertangare Spanish: Yal peruano

Phrygilus punensis


, 1887,

Lake Titicaca Basin, Peru and Bolivia


Sometimes considered conspecific with P. gayi, which it resembles in appearance, but molecular evidence indicates sister relationship with P. atriceps#R#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. chloronotus Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1896 – N & C Peru (from Cajamarca S to Cuzco).
  • P. p. punensis Ridgway, 1887 – S Peru (Puno) and NW Bolivia (La Paz, possibly also Cochabamba).
  • Descriptive notes

    15·5–16 cm; 35·9–38·5 g. Male nominate race has grey hood extending down to upper chest, lores blackish; upperparts dull russet with olive tone, tail feathers blackish with... read more


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


    Shrubby and rocky highland slopes, also edge of villages in agricultural zones where ample shrub... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds and arthropods. Forages on ground. Generally singly or in pairs; in small foraging flocks in non-breeding season, and may form mixed... read more


    Breeds Jan–Jun. No other information available.


    May descend to lower elevations in dry season.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common throughout its range. No known threats.

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. (2020). Peruvian Sierra-finch (Phrygilus punensis). 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 23 January 2020).