Family Cardinals (Cardinalidae)

Least Concern

Golden Grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysogaster)


French: Cardinal à tête jaune German: Gelbbauch-Kernknacker Spanish: Picogrueso ventriamarillo
Other common names: Golden-bellied Grosbeak

Pitylus chrysogaster


, 1832,

Chile; error = Quito, Ecuador


Has been treated as conspecific with P. chrysopeplus and P. tibialis, but molecular studies suggest that present species is paraphyletic with respect to P. aureoventris#R. Vocal differences are small, but on average laubmanni has a greater number of simple notes in every song phrase, while nominate typically lacks such notes#R; the two also show consistent plumage differences. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. laubmanni Hellmayr & Seilern, 1915 – Northern Golden Grosbeak – N Colombia (Santa Marta Mts), Sierra de Perijá, and N Venezuela (discontinuously in Lara, Aragua, Distrito Federal and Miranda; also S Sucre and N Monagas).
  • P. c. chrysogaster (Lesson, 1832) – Southern Golden Grosbeak – Andes from SW Colombia (Nariño) to S Peru (Arequipa and Puno); also coastal N & C Peru.
  • Descriptive notes

    21·5 cm; 54–59·7 g (Peru). Male nominate race has head and nape deep yellow with orange tinge, back black, rump yellow, uppertail-coverts black with white... read more


    Song a rich carolling, similar to that of Highland Hepatic-tanager (Piranga lutea) but... read more


    Open woodland, forest edge, areas of scattered trees, brushland; mostly fairly arid habitats, but... read more

    Food and feeding

    Few published data. Stomach contents “purplish berries” and “insects and seeds”. Arthropod prey taken from foliage.


    Breeds during rainy season, Feb–May, in arid W Ecuador, and birds in breeding condition in Apr–Jul in N Colombia (Santa Marta and Perijá);... read more


    Apparently sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common in some areas of range.

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2019). Golden Grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysogaster). 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 11 December 2019).