Family Cardinals (Cardinalidae)

Least Concern

Slate-blue Seedeater (Amaurospiza relicta)


French: Évêque bleu-ardoise German: Indigokardinal Spanish: Semillero relicto

Amaurospizopsis relictus


, 1934,

mountains above Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico


Commonly treated as conspecific with A. concolor (which is treated here as conspecific with A. moesta including the formerly split A. carrizalensis), but when first described it was placed in its own genus Amaurospizopsis; differs (in this analysis rictal bristles and nostrils accorded equivalence of plumage characters) by its slate-blue vs dark blue plumage in male (2); longer rictal bristles#R (allow 1); operculate nostrils#R (allow 1); shorter, deeper bill (allow 1); longer wing and tail (mean of 3 male tails 57.7 mm vs mean of 5 males 50.8; allow 2); “slightly higher and faster” song#R (at least 1). Monotypic.


Mountains of Jalisco, Colima, Morelos, Puebla, Guerrero and Oaxaca, in SW Mexico.

Descriptive notes

11·5–14 cm. A small, thickset finch, bill slightly longer than it is deep and with slightly rounded culmen. Male is almost entirely dark greyish-blue with very weak... read more


Song a brief, fast, jumbled warble with sweet quality, “sweet-sweet-sweet-saweet” or “chi chi whee... read more


Overgrown forest borders and secondary woodland; in Oaxaca, reported also in humid pine–oak (... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on tender growing stem tips of bamboo; also winged insects and seeds. Forages from low levels (1–2 m) to up to 10 m in dense... read more


Breeds mostly in May and Jun; in Jul in Morelos (Mexico); fledglings reported in early Sept in Costa Rica. Nest a cup (50–80 mm wide... read more


Resident; wanders irruptively in search of seeding bamboo.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Not well known. Apparently rare and local throughout its range. Available information suggests that this species’ population is... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Slate-blue Seedeater (Amaurospiza relicta). 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 22 August 2019).