Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Large-billed Seed-finch (Sporophila crassirostris)


French: Sporophile crassirostre German: Rußspelzer Spanish: Semillero piquigrande

Loxia crassirostris

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

no locality = Cayenne, French Guiana


Formerly usually treated in Oryzoborus, when often considered conspecific with S. nuttingi, S. maximiliani and S. atrirostris; race occidentalis often placed in S. maximiliani; taxonomy of this group still in flux. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. c. occidentalis (P. L. Sclater, 1860) – Pacific slope of Colombia S to SW Ecuador.
  • S. c. crassirostris (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – Venezuela, the Guianas, E Colombia S to NE Peru, and N & W Brazil (NW Amazonas, NE Roraima, Amapá and N Pará); formerly also Trinidad.
  • Descriptive notes

    13·5–14·5 cm; two birds 19·8 g and 22 g (nominate), 22–28·4 g (occidentalis). A medium-sized finch with proportionately long tail and enormous bill for its body size... read more


    Song (race occidentalis) lasts 4–5 seconds, a couple of introductory notes followed by... read more


    Usually found near water in shrubby areas adjacent to marshes, as well as tall emergent vegetation... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds; perhaps particularly well adapted to feeding on seeds of large sedges (Cyperaceae). Probably some insects taken. Forages by perching... read more


    Nests found in May and possibly Sept in Trinidad. Nest a well-constructed but loose cup-shaped structure of stalks and grass, lined with... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon, and local. Numbers of this species have been greatly depleted by trapping for the cagebird trade. Appears to be localized and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. (2019). Large-billed Seed-finch (Sporophila crassirostris). 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 19 May 2019).