Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Slate-colored Grosbeak (Saltator grossus)


French: Saltator ardoisé German: Rotschnabelsaltator Spanish: Pepitero pizarroso

Loxia grossa


, 1766,

Cayenne, French Guiana


See S. fuliginosus (above). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. g. saturatus (Todd, 1922) – E Honduras, Nicaragua, Caribbean slope of Costa Rica, Panama (Caribbean slope, and E from Veraguas on Pacific slope), NW Colombia (W of Andes) and W Ecuador (S to W Loja and El Oro).
  • S. g. grossus (Linnaeus, 1766) – SE Colombia E of Andes (S from Vichada), S Venezuela (Amazonas, Bolívar), the Guianas, N Brazil (S to N Mato Grosso, SE Pará and Maranhão), E Ecuador (Sucumbíos S to Zamora-Chinchipe), E Peru and N Bolivia (Beni and NW Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    19–20·5 cm; 41–53 g (Venezuela and Suriname). Male nominate race is mostly uniformly slaty blue above and below; lores, area below eye, anterior ear-coverts and malar region... read more


    Song an arresting series of 3–7 loud, rich whistles, e.g. “twee-tee-wee-teewee-chee-cher” , often... read more


    Humid forest, forest borders, and mature secondary woodland; in South America both várzea... read more

    Food and feeding

    Recorded food items seeds and arthropods; insects including beetles (Coleoptera). Usually in pairs, sometimes with other species in mixed... read more


    Recently fledged young in mid-May in Costa Rica; in Colombia, birds in breeding condition in Mar–Apr (Chocó), May (S Córdoba) and Sept (... read more


    Apparently sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common in suitable undisturbed habitat.

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2018). Slate-colored Grosbeak (Saltator grossus). 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 23 March 2018).