Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Black-and-white Seedeater (Sporophila luctuosa)


French: Sporophile noir et blanc German: Trauerspelzer Spanish: Semillero negriblanco

Spermophila luctuosa


, 1843,

Bogotá, Colombia


Closely related to S. nigricollis and S. caerulescens#R. Monotypic.


Andes from W Venezuela S through Colombia, Ecuador and Peru to Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz).

Descriptive notes

11 cm; average 12·5 g (Peru). Male has head to breast black, thin but noticeable white crescent below eye; upper­parts, including upperwing and tail, black, bases of... read more


Song rather unusual-sounding, not melodic, almost reminiscent of an icterid, 2 harsh notes followed... read more


Grassy areas at forest edge, also roadside pastures and shrubbery. Subtropical zone on lower Andean... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds; appears to some extent to be somewhat dependent on bamboo (Chusquea) seeding. Forages in manner typical of genus, clinging... read more


In Colombia males in breeding condition during Sept (Santander and Boyaca) and juveniles present in Apr (Antioquia). Said to be loosely... read more


Little information. Possibly engages in seasonal elevational movements; perhaps to some extent... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common, and patchy in distribution. Has relatively large range. This species’ liking for second-growth edge may lead to... read more

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. (2020). Black-and-white Seedeater (Sporophila luctuosa). 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 21 February 2020).