Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Sharp-beaked Ground-finch (Geospiza difficilis)


French: Géospize à bec pointu German: Spitzschnabel-Grundfink Spanish: Pinzón de Darwin picofino

Geospiza difficilis


, 1888,

Pinta (formerly Abington Island), Galapagos Islands


Relationship to other members of genus has always been troubled (hence the name difficilis). Previously considered conspecific with G. septentrionalis and G. acutirostris, but recent molecular work now confirms comments in HBW that both of those are more closely related to other members of Geospiza and must therefore each be treated as a separate species#R#R. Race debilirostris (Santiago) now considered synonymous with present species, as it is genetically nested between populations of Fernandina and Pinta#R. Monotypic.


Pinta, in N Galapagos Is, and Fernandina and Santiago, in W & C Galapagos Is. Previously recorded on Santa Cruz (last seen between 1932 and 1939), Floreana and San Cristóbal#R.

Descriptive notes

11–12 cm; 12·3–20 g. A small ground-finch with small, sharply pointed bill distinctly longer than it is deep and with straight culmen, giving more pointed... read more


Males of genus, with rare exceptions, sing only one song type. Song of present species exhibits... read more


In highlands of Fernandina, Santiago and Pinta occupies structurally complex and dense ... read more

Food and feeding

Variety of foods, including leaves, flowers, cactus pulp and insects. All feed nestlings on mixed diet of arthropods, fruits and seeds.... read more


Highland populations breed largely during wet season. Nest built by male, a sphere with entrance towards top and on side, made from dry... read more


Resident; highland populations appear to drift lower into drier habitats during non-breeding season.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common on N arid low islands, uncommon in highlands. Widespread, and generally showing no signs of any decrease in numbers, although... read more

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Sharp-beaked Ground-finch (Geospiza difficilis). 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 8 December 2019).