Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)

Least Concern

Santa Marta Brush-finch (Atlapetes melanocephalus)


French: Tohi des Santa Marta German: Grauohr-Buschammer Spanish: Atlapetes de Santa Marta

Buarremon melanocephalus

Salvin and Godman

, 1880,

San Sebastián, Colombia




Santa Marta Mts (Magdalena, Cesar and Guajira), in N Colombia.

Descriptive notes

17 cm; average 25 g. A large-bodied brush-finch with large and rounded head, relatively thick-based bill. Head to chin and malar region is black except for variable grey ear-... read more


Song loud and cascading, usually given as duet with a lot of buzzy notes, “bzt-bzt-bzt,... read more


Shrubbery and forest borders within humid subtropical forest, also second growth and overgrown... read more

Food and feeding

Few data on diet. Forages in and near ground, in or beneath thickets; may forage also as high as 10 m from ground, but usually below eye... read more


Birds in breeding condition in Jan–Apr, and fledglings recorded Nov–Jun. Nest reported as a domed structure. No other information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Santa Marta Mountains EBA. Common within its small area of distribution. Has a small range, but because of its... read more

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. (2020). Santa Marta Brush-finch (Atlapetes melanocephalus). 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 24 February 2020).