Slate-coloured Seedeater (Sporophila schistacea)

Slate-coloured Seedeater

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Thraupidae | [latin] Sporophila schistacea | [UK] Slate-coloured Seedeater | [FR] Sporophile ardoise | [DE] Schieferpfaffchen | [ES] Espiguero Apizarrado | [NL] Leigrijs Dikbekje


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range

Physical charateristics

The male Slate-coloured Seedeater is grey, with older males significantly darker than young males. The bill is yellow, becoming more orange in older males. An olive morph male is known, but it remains unknown if this plumage is kept or they turn grey when old. The pattern and colour of the plumage and bare parts in the female resemble that of other Sporophila seedeaters, but as in the male, it has a distinctive bill-shape unlike other Sporophila seedeaters. The lower mandible is much higher (roughly 2X) than the upper mandible. This relatively narrow upper mandible curves over the lower mandible, resulting in a strongly curved cutting edge. Still, the culmen itself is only slightly curved; sometimes almost straight.

Listen to the sound of Slate-coloured Seedeater

[audio: Seedeater.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 11 cm size max.: 12 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


Latin America : South Mexico to Ecuador and North Brazil


Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and heavily degraded former forest. It is strongly associated with flowering bamboo and seeding grasses. It inhabits the edges of rain forests, capoeiras and clearings that have partly regrown, where it lives alone or in dispersed pairs.


It builds a cup-shaped nest with thin walls, laying three eggs at a time.

Feeding habits

Mainly grass seeds, its bill is highly specialized. Feeds very often on the
stamens of the flowering bamboo.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Slate-coloured Seedeater status Least Concern


Sedentary throughout range.

Distribution map

Slate-coloured Seedeater distribution range map

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