Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Black-billed Seed-finch (Sporophila atrirostris)


French: Sporophile à bec noir German: Schwarzschnabelspelzer Spanish: Semillero piquinegro

Oryzoborus atrirostris

P. L. Sclater and Salvin

, 1878,

Moyobamba, San Martín, Peru


Formerly usually treated in Oryzoborus, when often considered conspecific with S. nuttingi, S. crassirostris and S. maximiliani; taxonomy of this group still in flux. Races weakly differentiated, and larger bill of gigantirostris may be individually variable; species perhaps better treated as monotypic. Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. a. atrirostris (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1878) – locally in extreme S Colombia, E lowlands of Ecuador and E Andean slopes in N Peru (San Martín, Loreto and Ucayali).
  • S. a. gigantirostris (J. Bond & Meyer de Schauensee, 1939) – SE Peru (Madre de Dios) and N & E Bolivia (Beni; isolated records in W & C Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16·5 cm; two males 23 g and 29 g (gigantirostris). A medium-sized finch with proportionately long tail and enormous bill for its body size; bill so deep that... read more


    Song a rich and leisurely warbling composed of many rich whistles; no other information.


    Grassy areas and clearings in marshy areas, or adjacent to riparian forest, lakes reedbeds, or... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet presumably seeds. Forages singly and in pairs. No other information.


    No information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Previously listed as Near-threatened; recently downgraded owing to better understanding of total population numbers. Uncommon to rare, and patchily... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. (2020). Black-billed Seed-finch (Sporophila atrirostris). 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 23 January 2020).