- Puerto Rican Bullfinch
 - Puerto Rican Bullfinch
 - Puerto Rican Bullfinch
 - Puerto Rican Bullfinch

Puerto Rican Bullfinch Melopyrrha portoricensis Scientific name definitions

John Faaborg and Amber Wiewel
Version: 2.0 — Published February 18, 2022
Revision Notes

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The name "bullfinch" does not occur among birds of continental North America, but its widespread occurrence in the West Indies must reflect both the early history of colonization of that region, and the fact that most of these islands remained as British or French colonies until fairly recently. Any West Indian island of decent size has at least one species of bullfinch, with the Cuban Bullfinch (Melopyrrha nigra) on Cuba, some of its offshore islands, and Grand Cayman; the Greater Antillean Bullfinch (Melopyrrha violacea) on most of the larger Bahamas, Hispaniola and its satellites, and Jamaica; the Lesser Antillean Bullfinch (Loxigilla noctis) on all the Lesser Antilles except the Grenadines and Barbados; the Barbados Bullfinch (Loxigilla barbadensis) on Barbados; the Puerto Rican Bullfinch (Melopyrrha portoricensis) on Puerto Rico; and the probably extinct St. Kitts Bullfinch (Melopyrrha grandis), formerly on St. Kitts. All of these bullfinches are distinctive for having males that are black (except for the Barbados Bullfinch, where males look like the standard bullfinch female), with the Cuban Bullfinch having some white in the wing, and the two species of Loxigilla showing reddish-brown undertail coverts and varying amounts of reddish-brown in the head. Females vary from being paler black than males (Greater Antillean Bullfinch and Puerto Rican Bullfinch) to being mostly brownish olive. Juveniles are olive-brown to olive-green, but with the distinctive reddish-brown undertail coverts.

The endemic Puerto Rican Bullfinch is widespread across Puerto Rico, but is not always easy to see. More often it is detected by its cardinal-like song, a strongly whistled whip-whip-whip followed by a buzz that can be heard only if one is quite close. To locals, the Puerto Rican Bullfinch is known as the comeñame, comeñame puertoriqueño, capacho, or carpacho.

 - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Faaborg, J. and A. Wiewel (2022). Puerto Rican Bullfinch (Melopyrrha portoricensis), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg and J. Gerbracht, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.purbul1.02