Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Buff-throated Saltator (Saltator maximus)


French: Saltator des grands-bois German: Buntkehlsaltator Spanish: Pepitero gorjicanelo

Tanagra maxima

Statius Müller

, 1776,

Cayenne, French Guiana


Some races have been considered perhaps to merit treatment as separate species, but an orderly geographical sequence of characters across the species’ range is apparent. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. m. gigantodes Cabanis, 1851 – Caribbean slope of Mexico from Veracruz S to N Oaxaca and Tabasco.
  • S. m. magnoides Lafresnaye, 1844 – S Mexico (Chiapas, S Campeche, S Quintana Roo), N Guatemala and Belize S on Caribbean slope to Nicaragua, Costa Rica and NW Panama.
  • S. m. intermedius Lawrence, 1864 – SW Costa Rica E to Canal Zone of Panama.
  • S. m. iungens Griscom, 1929 – E Panama and NW Colombia (E to lower R Cauca).
  • S. m. maximus (Statius Müller, 1776) – Colombia and Venezuela E to the Guianas, S to W & E Ecuador, E Peru, Brazil (Amazonia S to Mato Grosso do Sul; also E coast from Pernambuco S to Rio de Janeiro) and NE Bolivia (Beni and Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    20·5–21 cm; male average 46·2 g, female average 49·1 g (Panama). Nominate race has crown greenish-grey, becoming more bright greenish on nape and... read more


    Song varies throughout range: in Costa Rica, a loud series of melodious, soft lilting notes, e.g.... read more


    Semi-humid and humid forest edge, second growth, sometimes well-bushed suburbs, shade coffee... read more

    Food and feeding

    Predominantly vegetarian: fruit, blossoms, catkins, berries, fresh leaves, etc.; comes to eat bananas at feeding stations. Some insects,... read more


    Season Mar–Aug in Costa Rica, one nest in Apr in Panama, nest under construction in early Dec in French Guiana, and nests found in... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common over much of its range. In NE Brazil, one record in Piauí. Tolerates modified habitats well.

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2018). Buff-throated Saltator (Saltator maximus). 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 24 March 2018).