The Galápagos Finch

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Finch Hawk Owl Cactus Chamaesyce Portulaca Tribulus Weather Station
Animals Plants Environment

Galápagos Finches on Daphne Major

There are 14 different types of Galápagos Finches in the Galápagos. The small island Daphne Major contains populations of several kinds of these finches:

  • Small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa)
  • Medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis)
  • Large ground finch (Geospiza magnirostris)
  • Cactus finch (Geospiza scandens)

Most of the finches on Daphne Major are medium ground finches. This investigation of Daphne Major focuses on the population of medium ground finches.

Young medium ground finches (fledglings), are brown in color, with streaks of lighter shades. Adult females are also brown in color, while adult males are a solid black color.

Male medium ground finch, feeding, Española, Galápagos.(Photo, Stirwise, Flickr Creative Commons)

Female medium ground finch, South Plaza Island, Galápagos.(Photo, Kookr, Flickr Creative Commons)

The ground finches have their name because most of their gathering of food (foraging) happens on the ground. The medium ground finches eat small insects and the fruit and seeds of plants, and the fruit and seeds of cactus. The cactus finch gets its food primarily from cactus.

The medium ground finches breed after the first big rains of the wet season. The fledglings grow to adult size within one year.

Female ground finch feeding her young, Santa Cruz, Galápagos. (Photo, John Jackson)

Data Collected

Properties of Finches

Leg Size12.39 - 19.84 mm
Beak Size7.21 - 14.35 mm
Wing Size37.40 - 73.21 mm
Weight6.2 - 19.1 g

Number of Finches

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