Coal-Crested Finch Gallery

The Coal-Crested Finch, or Charitospiza eucosma, is one of the flagship birds of the Cerrado of Central Brazil, but it can be troublesome to track down. This diminutive but distinctive finch only sings during breeding season and feeds mostly on the ground, making it for most birders out of sight or sound, out of mind. As it shows a predilection for recently burned areas, populations are also somewhat nomadic and erratically distributed. By chance, I've encountered several small groups of Coal-Crested Finch, generally in the company of noisy Shrike-Like Tanagers, but last weekend in the Chapada dos Veadeiros, I lingered long over a large flock of nearly fifteen individuals, feeding in an area of campo limpo that was burned about six months ago. Note the male's highly expressive crest blowing jauntily in the wind.

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