Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-bridled Finch (Melanodera xanthogramma)


French: Mélanodère à sourcils jaunes German: Gelbbart-Ammertangare Spanish: Yal cejiamarillo

Chlorospiza (?) xanthogramma

Gould and G. R. Gray

, 1839,

East Falkland Island and Tierra del Fuego


Type description includes Falkland Is, possibly indicating misidentified immature of M. melanodera, but this considered unlikely, as morphological and ecological differences between the two species in Falklands already well described at the time; no recent records of present species from Falklands, where presumably now extirpated. Race barrosi larger and duller, with whitish vs yellowish outer tail, but song similar to that of nominate#R. Shows a peculiar polymorphism, some birds being extensively washed green above and yellow below, others not; distribution and significance of this “green morph” not well understood. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. x. barrosi Chapman, 1923 – Andean Yellow-bridled Finch – Andes of C & S Chile (Atacama S to Magallanes N of Strait of Magellan) and WC & SW Argentina (Mendoza S to Santa Cruz).
  • M. x. xanthogramma (Gould & G. R. Gray, 1839) – Fuegian Yellow-bridled Finch – Tierra del Fuego (extreme S Chile and S Argentina).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–17 cm; 35–37 g. A relatively large finch, thickset, with very long wings and strongly triangular bill. Male nominate race has complex facial pattern, with... read more


    Song of race barrosi is a lazy and slowly delivered melodious series of sweet notes, with... read more


    Breeds above tree-line in very sparsely vegetated to grassy alpine habitats interspersed with rocks... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes seeds and arthropods; in spring often feed on petals of introduced dandelions (Taraxacum). Forages on ground; in early... read more


    Season Oct–Jan, young fledging Nov–Jan. Nest concealed under boulder or hidden in grass on ground. No other information.


    Descends to lower elevations during winter, or during late-spring snow storms; details of movements... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to scarce, and patchily distributed. This species’ mountain-top alpine habitat may be severely threatened by global warming; regular... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. (2019). Yellow-bridled Finch (Melanodera xanthogramma). 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 7 December 2019).