For Halloween, Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the blood sucking vampire finch.
Tweet of the Day is the voice of birds and our relationship with them, from around the world.
For Halloween, Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the blood sucking vampire finch. On Wolf Island in the remote Galapagos archipelago, a small dark finch sidles up to a booby with a taste for blood. Sharp-beaked ground finch is found on several islands in the Galapagos and is one of the family known as Darwin's finches. Several species of ground-finches have devolved bill sizes which vary depending on their diet and the competition for food. Usually seeds, fruits, nectar and grubs. But one sharp-beaked ground-finch has gorier ambitions. On the isolated islands of Wolf and Darwin where seeds are scarcer in times of drought this bird has taken to drinking the blood of other seabirds, especially boobies. It pecks at the bases of their feathers and greedily laps up the flowing blood. For this reason it's often known as the, the vampire finch.
Webpage image of Sharp-beaked ground-finch / Vampire finch (Geospiza difficilis)
Recording of sharp-beaked ground-finch by Robert I Bowman / Ref: ML 86756
This programme contains a wildtrack recording of the sharp-beaked ground-finch kindly provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; recorded by Robert I Bowman on 07 Feb 1964, in Culpepper, Galápagos, Ecuador.