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Grey-winged Inca-finch Incaspiza ortizi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is only known from four locations, one of which is a tiny patch of highly threatened habitat. However, it appears to tolerate disturbed habitats, and is apparently not in active decline (Collar et al. 1992). It currently qualifies as Vulnerable, but if future surveys reveal populations occurring at additional surrounding sites, it may qualify for downlisting.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

16.5 cm. Strikingly plumaged, dumpy finch. Greyish-brown upperparts streaked dusky on scapulars and mantle. Head sides and neck also greyish. Narrow black forehead and ocular areas, and small black throat patch, enhanced by orange bill. Grey breast grading to white on belly and undertail-coverts. Black with largely white outertail feathers. Similar spp. Great Inca-finch I. pulchra and Rufous-backed Inca-finch I. personata both have rufous on mantle and wings, and slightly differently-marked face patterns. Voice A series of sharp whistles consisting of thee parts: an introductory ascending triplet of whistles (0.5 seconds duration) followed by three slower descending whistles (1 second duration) and a closing short trill of 0.5 seconds (F. Angulo in litt. 2007).

Distribution and population
Incaspiza ortizi is very local, but not uncommon, with records from four sites in north-west Peru: Palamba, north of Huancabamba, extreme north-east Piura; La Esperanza, north-east of Santa Cruz, on the Pacific slope of central Cajamarca, and Hacienda Limón, east of Celendín, in the Marañón drainage, south-central Cajamarca (Begazo et al. 2001). It was also recently found to the east of the Marañón near the town of Longotea, close to the border of Amazonas and La Libertad (F. Lambert and F. Angulo in litt. 2006, Angulo et al. 2008). This discovery suggests that the range may be larger than currently thought (Angulo et al. 2008, F. Lambert in litt. 2007, F. Angulo in litt. 2007).

Population justification
Given that the species has been found at just four small sites, the population is thought unlikely to exceed 10,000 individuals, and it is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals. This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Data are lacking on the population size and trend, but there is no clear evidence of any current active threats to populations at known sites.

It occurs at 1,800-2,600 m in arid montane scrub (Parker et al. 1996). Near Huancabamba, it occurs on a single rocky hilltop covered by dense herbaceous scrub (averaging 1.5 m high), small Acacia, various cacti, and numerous terrestrial bromeliads. Hacienda Limón is characterised by open Acacia woodland, grass and thorny scrub, but no cacti or bromeliads, and it has been observed in dense, thorny hedgerows. It appears to be tolerant of habitat degradation, including logging and grazing, and commonly occurs in burnt areas (F. Lambert and F. Angulo in litt. 2006, F. Lambert in litt. 2007). It feeds on seeds, plant matter and insects. Breeding appears to last from at least May-July (October), with young observed in July-September.

Slopes adjacent to Huancabamba have been extensively cleared for cultivation and pasture, and there appears to be no other suitable habitat in the vicinity. Consequently, if this hilltop were to be burnt, the northernmost population would surely be lost. However, further south, it survives on heavily disturbed, steep slopes, which appear unlikely to be usable to any greater degree (R. Webster and R. A. Rowlett in litt. 1998).

Conservation Actions Underway
It is listed as an endangered species in Peru. Local NGO Asociacion Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN) and American Bird Conservancy (ABC) have undertaken a project to determine the distribution of the species on the Marañón drainage and to find a priority area for the conservation of the species (Angulo et al. 2008). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct ecological studies to determine this species's habitat requirements through the year. Survey suitable habitat within intervening areas, including both slopes of the Marañón valley north and south of Hacienda Limon and San Jeronimo, to determine the full range. Survey the Zona Reservada Chancay Baños to determine if this population still exists and if it occurs inside this protected area. Assess the current state of habitat near Huancabamba. Ensure the integrity of known sites. Consider establishing protected areas around known sites. Make repeated surveys in order to determine population trends and examine the influence of any future habitat changes. Proposals for key sites to be protected are found in Angulo et al. (2008).

Angulo, F., Palomino, W., Arnal, H., Aucca, C. y Uchofen, O. 2008. Corredor de Conservación de Aves Marañón - Alto Mayo: Análisis de Distribución de Aves de Alta Prioridad de Conservación e Identificación de Propuestas de Áreas para su Conservación. Asoci

Angulo, F.; Palomino, W.; Arnal, H.; Aucca, C.; Uchofen, O. 2007. Corredor de Conservación de Aves Maraón - Alto Mayo: Anlisis de Distribución de Aves de Alta Prioridad de Conservación e Identificación de Propuestas de reas para su Conservación.

Begazo, A.J., Valqui, T., Sokol, M. and Langlois, E. 2001. Notes on some birds from central and northern Peru. Cotinga 15: 81-87.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Parker, T. A.; Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases. In: Stotz, D.F.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Parker, T.A.; Moskovits, D.K. (ed.), Neotropical bird ecology and conservation, pp. 113-436. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Gilroy, J., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J

Angulo Pratolongo, F., Lambert, F., Rowlett, R., Webster, R.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Incaspiza ortizi. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Grey-winged inca-finch (Incaspiza ortizi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Emberizidae (Buntings, American sparrows and allies)
Species name author Zimmer, 1952
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,300 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species