Backyard Birds

Cocos Island Finches or Cocos Finches

The Cocos Island Finch or Cocos Finch, Pinaroloxias inornata, is the only one of Darwin’s finches not native to the Galápagos Islands, and the only member of the genus Pinaroloxias. Sometimes classified in the family Emberizidae, more recent studies have shown it to belong in the tanager family Thraupidae.

Distribution / Range

It is endemic to Cocos Island, which is approximately 360 miles south of Costa Rica, where it is the most common landbird.


It is a chunky 12 cm long finch weighing about 12.5 g and with a black decurved pointed bill. The male is entirely black, while the female is brown, which is paler below and heavily streaked.

The young are similar but have yellow bills.

Distribution / Range

The roughly spherical nest is built at the end of a branch, and the standard clutch is two brown-spotted white eggs.

The Cocos Island Finch is found in all available habitats and eats a wide range of plant and insect food.

This species qualifies as Vulnerable because it has a very small range.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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