Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila castaneiventris)


French: Sporophile à ventre châtain German: Rotbauchspelzer Spanish: Semillero ventricastaño

Sporophila castaneiventris


, 1849,

#R, Cumaka, coast of Guyana


Molecular study covering “capped” (“capuchino”) Sporophila found that they formed two clades, a N clade largely N of R Amazon containing present species and S. minuta, and a S clade consisting of S. hypoxantha, S. hypochroma, S. ruficollis, S. palustris, S. cinnamomea and S. melanogaster, to which group S. bouvreuil is sister#R. Proposed taxon S. hypochroma rothi (based on single specimen from near Abary, in NE Guyana) probably a hybrid between present species and S. minuta. Monotypic.


The Guianas, and E Colombia (from Guainía and Meta) and S Venezuela (extreme SW Amazonas) S, E of Andes, to Ecuador, Peru and N & W Bolivia (Pando, La Paz, Beni and Cochabamba), and Amazonian Brazil (S to NW Mato Grosso and N Pará, also NE Roraima and Amapá).

Descriptive notes

10 cm; average 7·8 g. Typical seedeater, very small in size, and with stubby, rounded bill. Male has entire head down to cheek and ear-coverts blue-grey, this colour... read more


Song a quick warble of nasal whistles; sometimes gives a longer and more complex song with many... read more


Grassy and shrubby clearings, agricultural areas, and lawns and grassy openings in towns and... read more

Food and feeding

Grass seeds; also fruits of Cecropia trees, as well as their Müllerian bodies. Forages on grasses while on the stem; also on... read more


No information available.


Insufficient information. Possibly a partial migrant.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common and widespread. In some areas this seedeater appears to be expanding its range.

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. (2020). Chestnut-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila castaneiventris). 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 20 January 2020).