Family Cardinals (Cardinalidae)

Least Concern

Blue-black Grosbeak (Cyanoloxia cyanoides)


French: Évêque bleu-noir German: Stahlkardinal Spanish: Picogrueso negriazul

Coccoborus cyanoïdes


, 1847,



When this species is subsumed into Passerina, subspecific name caerulescens is preoccupied, and replaced by toddi. Until recently considered conspecific with C. rothschildii. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. concreta du Bus de Gisignies, 1855 – SE Mexico (Veracruz and N Oaxaca E to S Yucatán Peninsula), N Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.
  • C. c. caerulescens (Todd, 1923) – Nicaragua S to W Panama.
  • C. c. cyanoides (Lafresnaye, 1847) – C & E Panama, NW Venezuela (from Zulia and both slopes of Andes E to Miranda) and N & W Colombia S (W of E Andes) to NW Peru (Tumbes, Piura#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    17–18·5 cm; 23–32 g (nominate), mean 32·5 g (concreta). Male nominate race is rich deep blue above, rump somewhat paler blue, forehead and... read more


    Song varies somewhat geographically: in Honduras 7–8 clear, flute-like notes, the first 4–5 rising... read more


    Humid evergreen forest, moist thickets, and dense vegetation; recorded also, however, in dry scrub... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet probably mostly vegetable, including grass and bamboo seeds, maize (Zea mays), fruit (e.g. Trophis racemosa) and... read more


    Nestbuilding in Costa Rica starts in late Mar or Apr, earlier in wet Caribbean lowlands, but mostly in Jul–Aug; season mid Mar to Jul in... read more


    Apparently sedentary, but there is one record from the lower E Andes of Colombia, in Arauca, where... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to fairly common in much of its range; widespread. Possibly benefits from presence of small grain fields alongside forested... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Blue-black Grosbeak (Cyanoloxia cyanoides). 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 7 April 2020).