A variety of Poospiza taxa - from a plate in Ridgely and Tudor 1989 The Birds of South America, vol. 1 The Oscine Passerines. Univ. Texas Press.
Warbling-finches and mountain-finches (Poospiza) are widely distributed, both ecologically and geographically, being found in woodland and scrub habitats of both the Andes Mountains and the lowlands of south-central South America. Ridgely and Tudor recognise 17 species in the genus; three (the mountain-finches) were previously placed in the genera Compsopiza (baeri and garleppi) and Poospizopsis (caesar).
About one half of the species are found below 1000 masl; most of these range widely east of the Andes in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Argentina, while one (P. hispaniolensis) is found along the Pacific rim of Peru and s. Ecuador and is the only species west of the continental divide. The remaining taxa occur at higher altitudes (up to 3500 masl) in the Andes of Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, and show more geographically-restricted ranges than the lowland taxa.
Plumage diversity in the genus is substantial (Appendix 1): some species are essentially black, grey and white; others are grey and rufous, perhaps with some white; others are grey, black, white and rufous; most are boldly patterned. Only one species (hispaniolensis) shows a clear sexual plumage dimorphism. Though most species feed by foliage-gleaning in warbler-like fashion, some spend substantial amounts of time on the ground (P. nigrorufa, P. baeri, P. caesar.)