The use of the foot to hold down nest material or food items was studied in two species of grass-quits. Two Cuban Olive Finches used only their left foot, and seven others used predominantly or exclusively their right foot. An Olive Finch from Costa Rica used mostly its left foot. Cuban Melodious Finches infrequently used the foot to hold down items. This difference in behaviour probably reflects differences in feeding ecology. The incidence of holding supports arguments for affinity between Tiaris spp. and geospizines.