Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)


Chestnut Seedeater (Sporophila cinnamomea)


French: Sporophile cannelle German: Zimtspelzer Spanish: Semillero castaño

Pyrrhula cinnamomea


, 1839,

Rio Araguaia, Goiás, Brazil


Belongs in S clade of “capped” (“capuchino”) Sporophila (see S. castaneiventris and S. bouvreuil). Form described as S. zelichi (from Entre Ríos, in NE Argentina), once treated as a Critically Endangered species, now considered to be a white-necked morph of S. palustris or possibly a hybrid between latter and present species. Monotypic.


NE Argentina (Corrientes and Entre Ríos), extreme SE Paraguay (Itapúa), extreme SE Brazil (W & SC Rio Grande do Sul) and W & SE Uruguay (mostly Paysandú, Río Negro and Rocha, also Artigas, Soriano and Treinta y Tres). Migrates N as far as SC Brazil (Goiás, SE Mato Grosso and W Minas Gerais).

Descriptive notes

10 cm. A tiny, small-billed and relatively long-tailed seedeater. Male has distinctive grey cap, rest of head, neck, entire upperparts, throat and entire underparts chestnut... read more


Song sweet, melodious and pleasant, composed largely of sweet descending whistles, with some more... read more


Tall grassland adjacent to moist swales, moist shrubby marsh or wet savanna. In study in Argentina... read more

Food and feeding

Grass seeds. Clings to grass stem as it removes seeds. Forages in small groups or in mixed flocks with other seedeater species; in non-... read more


Season Dec–Feb. Nest a woven cup of dry grass, often very pale in colour, and translucent owing to thin nature of nest bottom. Clutch... read more


Migratory; breeds during austral spring and summer, then migrates N. Details of migration remain to... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Locally fairly common; very patchily distributed. Has suffered rapid decline, and global population believed now to be small and fragmented. Main causes of... read more

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. (2019). Chestnut Seedeater (Sporophila cinnamomea). 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 14 December 2019).