Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Lesson's Seedeater (Sporophila bouvronides)


French: Sporophile faux-bouvron German: Weißbartspelzer Spanish: Semillero de Lesson

Pyrrhula bouvronides


, 1831,

no locality = Trinidad


Closely related to S. lineola and has been treated as conspecific. Proposed race restricta, known from a single specimen from Magdalena Valley, Colombia, lies well within range of variation of the species elsewhere and does not merit recognition. Monotypic.


N Colombia (N & E of Andes), W, C & N Venezuela, the Guianas, Trinidad and Tobago. Most migrate S to N Amazonia in Brazil, SE Colombia, E Ecuador, NE Peru and Bolivia (Beni and Santa Cruz).

Descriptive notes

10–11 cm; 8–11 g. Tiny seedeater with thick bill approximately as long as it is deep, with distinct rounded culmen. Male has matt black head to throat, large... read more


Song begins with a few harsh notes and then changes into melodious notes, “chaw, chee... read more


Grassy clearings and shrubby areas, often near water in tropical zone. Likes edges of woodland when... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly grass seeds. Forages in typical manner, gripping grass stalk while extracting seeds. May forage also on ground. In flocks outside... read more


Season Apr–Nov. Territorial; male sings persistently from perches on small trees or larger bushes. Nest a loose cup of dry grasses and... read more


Highly migratory. After breeding, most vacate N breeding grounds and spread throughout N Amazonia... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common within breeding range. Locally abundant, e.g. in W Venezuela (parts of SW Portuguesa).

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. (2019). Lesson's Seedeater (Sporophila bouvronides). 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).