Family Cardinals (Cardinalidae)

Least Concern

Black-thighed Grosbeak (Pheucticus tibialis)


French: Cardinal à cuisses noires German: Schwarzschenkel-Kernknacker Spanish: Picogrueso muslinegro

Pheucticus tibialis


, 1867,

Cervantes, Costa Rica


Has been treated as conspecific with P. chrysopeplus and P. chrysogaster; a recent molecular phylogeny indicated that the former is paraphyletic with respect to present species, albeit without strong support#R. Monotypic.


Mountains from N Costa Rica (from Volcán Miravalles, in Guanacaste) S to W Panama (Bocas del Toro, Chiriquí and Veraguas).

Descriptive notes

20 cm; average 62·3 g (12 birds, Panama). Male has crown and nape to upper mantle bright yellow, lower mantle black with yellow edgings on central feathers, lower back... read more


Song a cheerful series of rich, varied leisurely musical whistles and phrases, interspersed with... read more


Forest edges, clearings, pastures with residual trees. In Costa Rica from c. 1500 m to at least... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes seeds and fruits, also invertebrates. Usually forages fairly high up in forest, occasionally descending to middle levels.... read more


Season Mar–May in Costa Rica. Nest a frail cup of rootlets, built on to bulky base of twigs or mosses, 3–9 m up in small tree or vine... read more


Resident. Some evidence of altitudinal migration on Caribbean slope of Costa Rica, numbers of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBA. Fairly common in Costa Rica; local or uncommon in Panama.

Recommended citation

Brewer, D. (2019). Black-thighed Grosbeak (Pheucticus tibialis). 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 18 July 2019).