Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Thick-billed Saltator (Saltator maxillosus)


French: Saltator à bec épais German: Dickschnabelsaltator Spanish: Pepitero picudo

Saltator maxillosus


, 1851,

Montevideo; error = southern Brazil


Supposed close relationship with S. nigriceps and S. aurantiirostris rejected by latest molecular evidence#R; recent studies state that there is little or no interbreeding with latter, as earlier reported. Monotypic.


SE Brazil (extreme SE Bahia and extreme E Minas Gerais S to Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul) and extreme NE Argentina (Misiones).

Descriptive notes

21 cm; 48–54 g (four birds Brazil). Male has lores, area around eye and face dark brownish-grey, long white super­cilium; crown and upperparts dark brownish-grey, upper... read more


Song a simple series of 4 loud notes, the third higher in pitch, “teeu-teeu-tew-tcheeuw”; call a... read more


Mostly canopy of montane humid forest and woodland borders; to 2200 m, rarely down to sea-level.

Food and feeding

Unusually for a passerine, seems to be mainly folivore, especially during dry season when fruit less available. Diet, based on dry-season... read more


Nest a cup made from roots, dry leaves and other vegetation, lined with fine fibres, rootlets and similar fine material, situated at low to... read more


Probably largely sedentary; tends to occur more frequently at lower altitudes during austral winter.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon. Formerly occurred also in E Paraguay (Alto Paraná), but no records since early decades of 20th century. Much of this... read more

Recommended citation

Brewer, D. (2020). Thick-billed Saltator (Saltator maxillosus). 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 21 February 2020).