Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Plain-colored Seedeater (Catamenia inornata)


French: Cataménie terne German: Schlichtsamenfresser Spanish: Semillero sencillo
Other common names: Plain Seedeater

Linaria inornata


, 1847,



More closely related to C. homochroa than to C. analis#R. Four ­subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. i. mucuchiesi Phelps, Sr & Gilliard, 1941 – páramos of Mérida, in W Venezuela.
  • C. i. minor Berlepsch, 1885 – W Venezuela (Táchira) S through Andes of Colombia (E & C ranges) and Ecuador to C Peru (Junín).
  • C. i. inornata (Lafresnaye, 1847) – Andes of SW Peru (Cuzco and Puno) and extreme N Chile (N Tarapacá) E to C Bolivia and NW Argentina (S to C Mendoza).
  • C. i. cordobensis Nores & Yzurieta, 1983 – NC Argentina (Córdoba).
  • Descriptive notes

    13·5–14·5 cm; 12·3–14·5 g. A small finch with conical bill as long as it is deep, but with only very slightly rounded culmen. Male... read more


    Song, from top of low bush, geographically and individually variable, the most noticeable part a... read more


    Open highland grasslands; also Espeletia páramo and puna areas with grass... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds. Forages on ground; also feeds heavily on Espeletia seeds by perching on stems and feeding from exposed seed clusters. In... read more


    Eggs and fledglings in Feb in N Argentina (Jujuy); possibly breeds throughout year in Colombia, where males in breeding condition in Jan–... read more


    Apparently resident; some nomadic movements in páramo of Venezuela, depending on seed... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common; more local in Venezuela. Reported from extreme N Chile, but no substantiated evidence of its occurrence there. Has large... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. (2019). Plain-colored Seedeater (Catamenia inornata). 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 13 December 2019).