Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Golden-billed Saltator (Saltator aurantiirostris)


French: Saltator à bec orange German: Goldschnabelsaltator Spanish: Pepitero piquigualdo

Saltator aurantiirostris


, 1817,

“Paraguay”; probably Corrientes, Argentina


See S. nigriceps and S. maxillosus. Race parkesi intergrades with nominate in Argentina. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. a. iteratus Chapman, 1927 – N Peru (temperate zones of Cajamarca, Amazonas, La Libertad and Ancash).
  • S. a. albociliaris (R. A. Philippi [Krumwiede] & Landbeck, 1861) – C & S Peru (subtropical and temperate zones from Ancash and Huánuco S to Puno and Tacna) and extreme N Chile (Arica).
  • S. a. hellmayri J. Bond & Meyer de Schauensee, 1939 – Bolivia from La Paz and Cochabamba S to SE Potosí and N Tarija.
  • S. a. aurantiirostris Vieillot, 1817 – Bolivia (S Tarija), N Argentina (S to Catamarca, Córdoba and Buenos Aires), E Paraguay and S Brazil (S Mato Grosso and N Rio Grande do Sul).
  • S. a. parkesi J. M. C. Silva, 1990 – E Argentina (Entre Ríos), extreme SE Brazil (S Rio Grande do Sul) and Uruguay.
  • S. a. nasica Wetmore & J. L. Peters, 1922 – CW Argentina (La Rioja, San Juan, Mendoza and W La Pampa).
  • Descriptive notes

    19–20·5 cm; male 33·1–44·8 g, female 38–54·3 g (Bolivia). Male nominate race has forehead blackish, becoming grey on crown and nape; chin and throat white, lores, face, ear-... read more


    Song a loud, explosive series of musical whistled phrases, e.g. “twi-chéw tew-swéé?”, final... read more


    Montane scrub, field edges, gardens, chaco woodland etc. Down almost to sea-level in S... read more

    Food and feeding

    Only quantified study was in lowland habitat in Santa Fe, in Argentina: diet included large numbers of seeds, especially of Solanum... read more


    Season Nov–Jan, rarely Oct, in Argentina and Oct–Jan in Uruguay; fledglings in Jun in Peru and Feb–Mar in Bolivia. Almost all data from... read more


    Apparently sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Quite common in suitable habitat over much of its range. In agricultural areas, may sometimes cause damage to pulses at the budding stage.

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2020). Golden-billed Saltator (Saltator aurantiirostris). 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 25 February 2020).