Laysan Finch

Telespiza cantans




Fringilline & Cardueline Finches (Fringillidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with brown spots and blotches

Number of Eggs:

4 - 5

Incubation Days:

15 - 16

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

Clumps of grass or a rocky crevice

Nest Material:

Grass, twigs, rootlets





Laysan Finch: Large, curious finch. Bright yellow head, neck, and breast. Becomes more yellow and less streaked with each molt. Neck has a gray collar, belly is white. Olive back may show narrow brown streaks. Lower back and rump is gray, wings are olive to brown. Large, gray bill. Female is similar, duller yellow with more streaking, back has brown spots. Juvenile has brown-streaked, yellow face,crown, throat and upper breast. Gray back and rump, wing feathers are brown edged in yellow and white.

Range and Habitat

Laysan Finch: Native to Laysan Island. Endemic and a year-round resident to Laysan Island. In the 1960s, 108 were captured and released on the Pearl and Hermes Atoll, where a population still lives. They inhabit subtropical and tropical lowland, dry shrub-land and grassland, sand dunes around the coastline, and a brackish lagoon in the center of the island.

Breeding and Nesting

Laysan Finch: Four to five white eggs with small blotches and spots of brown or lilac-gray are laid in a cup-shaped nest in the crotch of a tree. Incubated by female for 15 to 16 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Laysan Finch: Very adaptable and omnivorous. Feeds on seeds, invertebrates, roots, carrion, and seabird eggs.


Laysan Finch: Song is a complicated melody and call is a whistled "pee-o-wheet".

Similar Species

Laysan Finch: Unlikely to be confused with any other species in its range.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
Similar to the upper part of the human neck, located at the back of the crown.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X