What Do Small Tree Finches Eat?


Thirteen species of Darwin's finches live on the Galapagos Islands. The small tree finch is one of these thirteen species.


  • Darwin's finches are all very similar, except for each species' specialized beak structure and feeding habits. Each finch species has a particular beak size and shape, which is adapted for a certain food source. This suggests that all of Darwin's finches evolved from a single species that adapted to fill different niches in the environment. Darwin studied them during the famous voyage of the Beagle and realized that they provided strong evidence to support his theory of evolution.


  • Small tree finches have beaks specialized for grasping insects. Insects are their main food source, but they also feed on fruit, seeds, and nectar. They are usually found in trees, and often feed upside down at the end of a branch.


  • The small tree finch is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. It is found on all the major islands except Genovesa, Marchena, Española, and Darwin, and typically inhabits humid evergreen forest.


  • All of Darwin's finches are similarly plain in appearance, with gray, brown, olive, or black plumage. Tree finches tend to be lighter in color than the other finches, and have sharper, grasping beaks.

    The small tree finch is smaller than the other tree finches and can be distinguished by its short, curved beak. The male small tree finch has a dull gray body with a black head and a pale yellow underside, and the female is simply dull gray all over with a slightly paler underside.


  • Darwin's finches can be divided into groups based on beak type. There are three species of tree finch: the small tree finch, medium tree finch, and large tree finch. Tree finches have grasping beaks. The cactus finches, warbler finch, and woodpecker finch have long, thin beaks specialized for probing into holes to eat grubs. The ground finches and the vegetarian finch have crushing beaks perfect for grinding up fruit and seeds.


  • Animal Corner
  • Arkive.org
  • Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos islands: an identification guide; Andy Swash and Rob Still; 2005
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