Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)

Near Threatened

Sao Francisco Sparrow (Arremon franciscanus)


French: Tohi du Sao Francisco German: Franziskusbuschammer Spanish: Cerquero franciscano

Arremon franciscanus


, 1997,

Rio São Francisco, Minas Gerais, Brazil


Relationships with A. taciturnus, A. flavirostris and A. semitorquatus, its presumed closest relatives, unclear as species awaits molecular screening#R. Differs from morphologically closest form A. semitorquatus by (in male) the yellow of the lower mandible extending onto sides of upper mandible (2); pale vs darkish grey flanks (1); yellow shading to olive upperparts (1); longer bill (on small published sample; allow 1); shorter tail (on small published sample; allow 1); and notably distinctive song, as indicated in original description (where voice discounted as a taxonomic character owing to small sample, but subsequent unpublished study confirms this evidence; allow at least 2). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

S Bahia and N Minas Gerais, in E Brazil.

Descriptive notes

15 cm; 21–25 g. A medium-sized, chunky sparrow with relatively thick-based, longish bill; comparatively shorter-tailed and longer-billed than A. semitorquatus... read more


Song variable, tends to be composed of repeated introductory notes, or a more complex series of... read more


Found in thick xerophitic caatinga scrub; also in undergrowth and edge of taller “arboreal... read more

Food and feeding

Appears to forage while on ground. No other information.


No information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common. Has small range, within which it is patchily distributed. Declines in... read more

Recommended citation

Jaramillo, A. (2020). Sao Francisco Sparrow (Arremon franciscanus). 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).