Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Stripe-tailed Yellow-finch (Sicalis citrina)


French: Sicale citrin German: Zitronengilbtangare Spanish: Chirigüe citrino

Sycalis citrina


, 1870,

Jaguaraíba, Paraná, Brazil


See Genus text. Races poorly differentiated, and species perhaps better treated as monotypic. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. c. browni Bangs, 1898 – W & N Colombia (Santa Marta, Antioquia, Cauca, Santander, Norte de Santander and Cundinamarca), Venezuela (Sierra de Perijá, Coastal Range, Trujillo, Mt Duida and tepuis of Bolívar and Amazonas) and adjacent tepui region of Guyana, Suriname and N Brazil (locally E to Amapá).
  • S. c. occidentalis Carriker, 1932 – SE Peru (Puno) and NW Argentina (Salta, Tucumán and E La Rioja).
  • S. c. citrina Pelzeln, 1870 – E Brazil (S Pará, Goiás and Piauí S to E Mato Grosso and Paraná).
  • Also occurs (probably occidentalis) in much of Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca and Tarija), and (probably nominate) in NE Bolivia (Beni) and perhaps adjacent Brazil.

    Descriptive notes

    11 cm; 10·7–12·9 g. A small, stocky and compact yellow-finch with relatively short and deep bill; head often looks squarish in shape. Male nominate race has head mostly plain... read more


    In much of range, male song, given from perch and in flight display, begins with a series of... read more


    Various types of grassy and open habitats. Grasslands and savanna, including highland grasslands in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet a mix of seeds and arthropods, latter mostly during breeding season. Seems especially attracted to seeding grasses, and will cling to... read more


    In E Brazil breeding begins after start of rainy season (Dec–May), most often Jan–Mar; in N Colombia, birds in reproductive condition in... read more


    No information; possibly somewhat nomadic.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common, and very local. Very patchily distributed, but occurs over huge range and, unusually when range so fragmented, at wide... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. (2019). Stripe-tailed Yellow-finch (Sicalis citrina). 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 14 December 2019).