Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Black-cowled Saltator (Saltator nigriceps)


French: Saltator à capuchon German: Schwarzkopfsaltator Spanish: Pepitero capuchinegro

Pitylus nigriceps


, 1914,

Loja, 7000 feet [c. 2130 m], Ecuador


Present species sometimes treated as conspecific with S. aurantiirostris, but differs fairly strongly in plumage and very strongly in voice—song is a single emphasized polyphonic whistle preceded by a short introductory note vs a song phrase consisting of 3–8 (score 3) monophonic (score 3) notes#R—and now proves to be only distantly related#R. Purported close alliance with S. maxillosus (below; mentioned in HBW) also unsupported by latest molecular evidence#R. Monotypic.


S Ecuador (El Oro and Loja) and NW Peru (Piura, extreme E Lambayeque and Cajamarca).

Descriptive notes

22 cm. Has head to upper chest black, occasionally with a few white feathers on chin and behind eye; upperparts, including wing and tail, are dark bluish-grey, greyish-black... read more


Song is simple and short, comprising a ringing explosive “keert, swee-it”; call is a metallic... read more


Humid montane forest and forest edge, and regenerating scrubland. Mostly 1700–2900 m, occasionally... read more

Food and feeding

No published data on diet. Usually in pairs; sometimes joins mixed-species foraging flocks. Largely arboreal.


No information.


Apparently sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Tumbesian Region EBA. Rather uncommon to locally fairly common. Has been proposed for listing as Near-threatened... read more

Recommended citation

Brewer, D. (2019). Black-cowled Saltator (Saltator nigriceps). 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 May 2019).