Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Amazonian Grey Saltator (Saltator coerulescens)


French: Saltator gris German: Brasilsaltator Spanish: Pepitero grisáceo del Amazonas
Other common names: Greyish Saltator (when treated as conspecific with S. grandis and S. olivascens)

Saltator cœrulescens


, 1817,



Until recently considered conspecific with S. grandis and S. olivascens, but genetic#R and vocal evidence strongly indicates species rank in this case: whistled song—a series of repeated mellow whistles, typically ending with a longer whistle usually downslurred, but sometimes burry and/or upslurred—is very different from songs of the other two (which see for score each of 5–6)#R; this species is also distinguishable by its more uniform underparts, with little darkening on breast so that breast to belly is either fairly steady grey or, in most specimens of nominate, grey-tinged rufous-buff (1); and blacker undertail (1). Four subspecies currently recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. c. azarae d’Orbigny, 1839 – W Amazon Basin from E Colombia and W Brazil (E probably to R Negro region and, S of Amazon, to R Madeira) S to E Ecuador, E Peru and NE Bolivia (Beni).
  • S. c. mutus P. L. Sclater, 1856 – N Brazil from lower R Solimões E on both banks of R Amazon to Amapá and Mexiana I, S to N Maranhão.
  • S. c. superciliaris (Spix, 1825) – NE Brazil (S Piauí and N & W Bahia to N Minas Gerais).
  • S. c. coerulescens Vieillot, 1817 – E Bolivia (Santa Cruz and Tarija), SW Brazil (Mato Grosso, W Rio Grande do Sul), N Argentina (S to La Rioja, Córdoba, Santa Fe and N Buenos Aires), Paraguay, W Uruguay and W Rio Grande do Sul.
  • Descriptive notes

    18·5–21 cm; 49–67 g. Nominate race has crown greyish, supercilium from bill to above ear-coverts off-white, lores, face and ear-coverts mottled grey-brown... read more


    Song varies much throughout range. For example, in Peru, a variable series of rich, slurred... read more


    Occupies forest edge and second growth, including, in various parts of range, dry scrub, humid... read more

    Food and feeding

    Apparently varied in different parts of range. In lowland study in Argentina species was omnivorous, taking both seeds, especially those of... read more


    Season Apr–Jun in Colombia, and late Oct to early Jan in Argentina. Possibly sometimes co-operative breeder, with helpers. Nest a... read more


    Largely sedentary. Ringed individuals recorded moving just c. 150 m among forest patches in the... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common across much of its range. Only recently discovered in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in far S of Brazil. Adapts well to human... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Amazonian Grey Saltator (Saltator coerulescens). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 February 2020).