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Red Crossbills (Male).jpg
male Red Crossbills
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Subfamily: Carduelinae

At least 15, see text

The cardueline finches are a subfamily, Carduelinae, one of at least three subfamilies of the finch family Fringillidae, the others being the Fringillinae and the Euphoniinae. The Hawaiian honeycreepers are usually now considered in this subfamily.[1] Cardueline finches are specialised to eating seeds, and unlike most passerine birds, they feed their young mostly on seeds, which are regurgitated.[2] Besides this, they differ from the other finches in some minor details of their skull.[2] They are adept at opening seeds and clinging to stems, unlike other granivorous birds, such as sparrows and buntings, which feed mostly on fallen seeds.[3] Some members of this subfamily are further specialised to feed on a particular type of seed, such as cones, in the case of crossbills.[2] Carduelines forage in flocks throughout the year, rather than keeping territories, and males defend their females rather than a territory or nest.[4]

The following genera are those usually considered the Carduelinae:

Subfamily Carduelinae


  1. ^ Groth, 2001, pp. 552–553
  2. ^ a b c Newton, 1973, p. 31
  3. ^ Groth, 2001, p. 557
  4. ^ Groth, 2001, p. 558
  5. ^ James, Helen F; Storrs L. Olson (2003). "A giant new species of nukupuu (Fringillidae: Drepanidini: Hemignathus) from the island of Hawaii". The Auk 120 (4): 970–981. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2003)120[0970:AGNSON]2.0.CO;2. 
  6. ^ James, Helen F.; Johnathan P. Prince (May 2008). "Integration of palaeontological, historical, and geographical data on the extinction of koa-finches". Diversity & Distributions 14 (3): 441–451. doi:10.1111/j.1472-4642.2007.00442.x. 

Literature cited[edit]

  • Groth, Jeffrey G. (2001). "Finches and Allies". In Elphick, Chris; Dunning, John B. Jr.; Sibley, David Allen. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 552–560. ISBN 978-1-4000-4386-6. 
  • Newton, Ian (1973). Finches. The New Naturalist Library 55. New York: Taplinger. ISBN 0-8008-2720-1.