Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)

Least Concern

Choco Brush-finch (Atlapetes crassus)


French: Tohi à bec fort German: Goldscheitel-Buschammer Spanish: Atlapetes del Chocó

Atlapetes crassus


, 1908,

San Antonio, 5800 feet [c. 1770 m], Valle, Colombia


Usually considered conspecific with A. tricolor (occasionally with A. leucopis), but differs from former in its notably duller crown (2); slightly more olive underparts (but variable; ns); slightly larger size, including bill (allow 1); longer song phrase duration (effect size from published data 2.2#R, score 2); higher number of notes per phrase (effect size from published data 1.07#R, score 1)#R; different habitat (forest at 300–2000 vs 1750–3050 m#R) (1). Available genetic data, from separate studies#R#R, are suggestive that present species and A. tricolor are not each other’s closest relatives, but because most hypotheses concerning the latter taxon’s relationships are weakly supported more data are needed. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

W Andes of Colombia (S from Antioquia) and W Ecuador (from Esmeraldas to Pichincha and W Cotopaxi, and Azuay, El Oro and Loja#R).

Descriptive notes

16–18 cm; 29·5–40 g. Adult has sides of head black, contrasting wide fulvous-brown to tawny-gold crownstripe reaching to hindcrown and nape; upperparts dark olive-brown, rump... read more


Song a semi-whistled, high-pitched and wheezy “seeuwee, swee swit-swit-swit” or a more complicated... read more


Undergrowth in shrubby clearings, secondary woodland and edge of humid forest; forest openings, and... read more

Food and feeding

No details of diet. Forages at variable heights; can be distinctly more arboreal than many brush-finches, foraging 1–10 m above ground,... read more


Egg dates in Apr in Colombia (Valle), and fledglings in Jun–Jul in Cauca (Colombia) and NW Ecuador (also Feb in latter); nestbuilding in SW... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: confined to the Chocó EBA. Uncommon (in Ecuador) to fairly common (in Colombia); somewhat local. No... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Choco Brush-finch (Atlapetes crassus). 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 29 February 2020).