Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)


Wilkins's Finch (Nesospiza wilkinsi)


French: Nésospize de Wilkins German: Dickschnabel-Ammertangare Spanish: Yal de Wilkins

Nesospiza wilkinsi


, 1923,

Nightingale Island, Tristan da Cunha Group


Usually considered conspecific with large-billed race (dunnei) of N. acunhae, but genetic evidence suggests independent evolution on each island. Cytochrome b sequence of present species appears identical to that of N. questi, but the two are highly distinct morphologically and behave as separate species, with separate vocal systems and no evidence of hybridization between them. Monotypic.


Nightingale I, in S Atlantic.

Descriptive notes

20–22 cm; 41–53 g. A large, robust finch with heavy, deep-based bill. Male is olive-green above and below, with yellowish supercilium, throat and upper breast;... read more


Male song “whut-prreu whut-prreu...”, distinctly deeper and slower than that of N.... read more


Territorial adults occupy areas with Phylica arborea trees, also foraging in surrounding... read more

Food and feeding

Diet consists mainly of Phylica fruit and seeds; also includes small invertebrates. Clambers around in canopy of Phylica... read more


Little known. Egg-laying recorded Nov–Jan, but adults territorial at least Sept–Mar. Clutch 1–2 eggs, light blue, finely... read more


Resident; ringed individuals recovered less than 200 m from original site after 8 years.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Tristan Islands EBA. Uncommon; has tiny breeding range, probably no more than 2 km². Global population extremely small,... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. & de Juana, E. (2019). Wilkins's Finch (Nesospiza wilkinsi). 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 21 May 2019).