views updated Jun 27 2018

Fringillidae (finches, brambling, bullfinches, canaries, chaffinches, crossbills, goldfinches, greenfinches, grosbeaks, hawfinches, seed-eaters, siskins; class Aves, order Passeriformes) A family of small to medium-sized birds that have large conical bills, Loxia species (crossbills) have crossed mandibles, an adaptation that assists them in opening pine cones and they sometimes migrate in large numbers when cone crops fail. The nine species of Coccothraustes (hawfinches) have massive conical bills and well-developed jaw muscles that enable them to crack fruit stones. Fringillids have rounded to pointed wings with nine primaries (the inner primaries of Coccothraustes coccothraustes are notched and curled), short to long tails, and medium-length legs. The three species of Fringilla (chaffinches and F. montifringilla, the highly migratory brambling) differ from other members of the family in having no crop. Fringillids are found in forests, scrub, and open country, where they feed on seeds, buds, and insects, and build open nests in trees, bushes, or on the ground. Bullfinches (six species of Pyrrhula) occur in Europe, Asia, and the Azores. The 32 species of Serinus (canaries and seedeaters) are noted for their song and some (e.g. S. canaria) are popular cage birds. The males of the 21 species of rosefinches (Carpodacus) are red and purple, the females brown or grey. There are 18 genera in the family, with 122 species, many migratory, found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and N., Central, and S. America. Cardinalidae and part of Emberizidae are often placed in this family.


views updated May 09 2018

bullfinches (Pyrrhula) See FRINGILLIDAE.

New World blackbirds

views updated May 23 2018

New World blackbirds See ICTERIDAE.