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Phrygilus patagonicus.jpg
Patagonian sierra finch (Phrygilus patagonicus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Phrygilus
Cabanis, 1844

11, see text

Phrygilus[1] is a genus of mainly Andean seed-eating tanagers commonly known as sierra finches. Phrygilos means finch in Ancient Greek.[2] Sometimes classified in the bunting and American sparrow family Emberizidae, more recent studies have shown them to belong in the Thraupidae.[3] The genus appears to be polyphyletic[4] consisting of at least three distinct lineages which in future may need to be split into separate genera.

Species list[edit]

Group 1 - The "hooded" group. Related to yellow finches Sicalis

Group 2 - Upperparts mostly grey, underparts white. Sexes similar. Related to a clade containing both the "hooded" group and Sicalis olivascens

Group 3 - male plumage grey or dull brown, females streaky. Related to Haplospiza

Group 4 - Yellow bill with grey/black underparts.


  1. ^ Ridgely & Tudor (1989)
  2. ^ Aristophanes, The Birds 859. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: M-Q By Umberto Quattrocchi sv. Phrygilanthus
  3. ^ See Burns et al. (2003) & Klicka et al. (2007)
  4. ^ See Klicka et al. (2007)


  • Burns, K. J., S. J. Hackett, and N. K. Klein. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships of Neotropical honeycreepers and the evolution of feeding morphology. J. Avian Biology 34: 360-370.
  • Klicka, J., K. Burns, & G. M. Spellman. 2007. Defining a monophyletic Cardinalini: A molecular perspective. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45: 1014-1032
  • Ridgely, R. S., & G. Tudor. 1989. The Birds of South America, vol. 1. Univ. Texas Press, Austin.