Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)


Plain-tailed Warbling-finch (Microspingus alticola)


French: Tangara alticole German: Schwarzscheitel-Finkentangare Spanish: Monterita de Cajamarca

Poospiza alticola


, 1895,

Huamachuco, 10,400 feet [c. 3170 m], La Libertad, Peru




Upper Marañón Valley in S Cajamarca, La Libertad and E Ancash (essentially W of R Marañón, except for sites in W La Libertad), in W Peru.

Descriptive notes

16 cm. A slim and long-tailed warbling-finch with relatively long and finely pointed bill. Male is greyish-olive above, darker on crown; face blackish-brown, bordered above... read more


Song a warble, rich in quality, “chew tew-tuueee?”. Calls buzzy in nature, sometimes... read more


Montane scrub, shrubby areas and low woodland, particularly ravines. Found mostly in Polylepis... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on arthropods; also on sugary secretions from underside of Gynoxys leaves. Forages both in foliage of dense shrubs and on... read more


Birds in breeding condition in Sept and juveniles found in Feb–Mar; season possibly Oct–Feb. No other information.



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Rare to locally uncommon within its restricted range. Has fairly small range, within which remaining area of suitable habitat decreasing, and populations severely... read more

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. (2019). Plain-tailed Warbling-finch (Microspingus alticola). 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 13 December 2019).