Although many Darwin’s finch species are insectivorous, only the warbler finch appears to be capable of taking prey on the wing. In addition, this species will use its thin, pointed bill to probe amongst moss, bark and leaves for spiders and insects (5).
Darwin’s finches usually breed during the hot, wet season when food is most abundant. Monogamous, lifelong breeding pairs are common, although mate changes and breeding with more than one partner have also been observed. Breeding pairs maintain small territories, in which they construct a small dome-shaped nest with an entrance hole in the side. Generally a clutch of three eggs is laid, which are incubated by the female for about twelve days, and the young brooded for a further two weeks before leaving the nest. The short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), frequently preys on the nestlings and juvenile Darwin’s finches, while adults are occasionally taken by Galapagos hawks (Buteo galapagoensis) and Lava herons (Butorides sundevalli) (2).