Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Short-tailed Finch (Idiopsar brachyurus)


French: Idiopsar à queue courte German: Kurzschwanz-Ammertangare Spanish: Yal colicorto

Idiopsar brachyurus


, 1867,

La Paz, Bolivia


Although differing in bill morphology, in other respects evidently most closely related to Chionodacryon speculiferum, with similar habitat, call notes, posture and foraging behaviours#R. Monotypic.


S Peru (S Cuzco and Puno) S through highlands of Bolivia (La Paz, W Cochabamba, E Oruro, E Potosí and W Tarija) to NW Argentina (Jujuy, highlands of Salta, Tucumán and Catamarca).

Descriptive notes

18–18·5 cm; one male 43 g. A large and thickset finch with very long and stout-based, spike-like bill; big body can make tail appear somewhat short. Male has head grey, fine... read more


Song a simple repetition of notes, “tseet tsu tsree tseet tsu tsree...” or “schrii su su schrii su... read more


A specialist of boulderfields and talus slopes comprised of larger rocks and boulders adjacent to... read more

Food and feeding

No detailed information on diet; seen to feed on seeds, also on lichen on rocks. Study of diet important, as this species may be very... read more


Largely unknown. Males in breeding condition in Jan in Bolivia (La Paz); in Argentina female observed while inspecting crevices in adobe... read more


Sedentary, so far as is known.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rare and/or local throughout much of its range; locally common in a few sites in Bolivia. Occurs in three protected areas In Bolivia: Carrasco... read more

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. (2019). Short-tailed Finch (Idiopsar brachyurus). 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 19 May 2019).