Black-headed greenfinch

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Black-headed greenfinch
Chloris ambigua, captive.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Subfamily: Carduelinae
Genus: Chloris
C. ambigua
Binomial name
Chloris ambigua
(Oustalet, 1896)

Carduelis ambigua

The black-headed greenfinch (Chloris ambigua) is a small passerine bird in the Fringillidae family. It is found in the Chinese province of Yunnan, northern Laos, eastern Myanmar and adjacent areas of Vietnam, Thailand and Northeast India. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

The black-headed greenfinch is a medium-sized finch with a length of 12.4–14 cm (4.9–5.5 in). It has a dark blackish-olive head, a pale pinkish-brown conical bill and a yellow patch on the wings. The sexes are similar.[2]


The black-headed greenfinch was described by the French zoologist Émile Oustalet in 1896 and given the binomial name Chysomitris ambigua.[3][4] In the past the black-headed greenfinch was included with the other greenfinches in the genus Carduelis but molecular phylogenetic studies have shown that the greenfinches are not closely related to the other species in the genus Carduelis and they are now placed in the resurrected genus Chloris.[5][6] The genus had originally been introduced by the French naturalist Georges Cuvier in 1800.[7] The word Chloris is from the Ancient Greek word khlōris for the European greenfinch; the specific epithet ambigua is from the Latin ambiguus for "doubtful".[8]

Two subspecies are recognised:[6]

  • C. a. taylori (Kinnear, 1939) – southeast Tibet
  • C. a. ambigua (Oustalet, 1896) – east and northeast Myanmar, south China, Laos and the extreme northeast India[9][10]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Chloris ambigua". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T22720347A94665586. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22720347A94665586.en. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  2. ^ Clement, P. (2017). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Black-headed Greenfinch (Chloris ambigua)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  3. ^ Oustalet, Émile (1896). "Notes sur les oiseaux recueillis dans la Yun-Nan par le Prince Henri d'Orléan, dans le course de son dernier voyage du Tonkin aux Indes". Bulletin du Museum D'Histoire Naturelle. 2: 183–187 [186].
  4. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jnr., ed. (1968). Check-list of birds of the world, Volume 14. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 238.
  5. ^ Zuccon, Dario; Prŷs-Jones, Robert; Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Ericson, Per G.P. (2012). "The phylogenetic relationships and generic limits of finches (Fringillidae)" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 62 (2): 581–596. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.10.002. PMID 22023825.
  6. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Finches, euphonias". World Bird List Version 7.3. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  7. ^ Cuvier, Georges (1800). Leçons d'anatomie comparée. Volume 1. Paris: Baudouin. Table 2. The year on the title page is An VIII.
  8. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 44, 102. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  9. ^ Dalvi, S. (2013). "Elliot's Laughingthrush Trochalopteron elliotii and Black-headed Greenfinch Chloris ambigua from Anini, Arunachal Pradesh, India" (PDF). Indian Birds. 8 (5): 130.
  10. ^ Sharma, M.; Sangha, H.S.; Jain, A. (2014). "Some noteworthy records from the Lohit Valley, eastern Arunachal Pradesh, India" (PDF). Indian Birds. 9 (4): 88–92.

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