Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Wing-barred Seedeater (Sporophila americana)


French: Sporophile à ailes blanches German: Wechselspelzer Spanish: Semillero aliblanco

Loxia americana

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Cayenne, French Guiana


Groups with S. corvina, S. murallae and S. intermedia; has been treated as conspecific with the first two, and thought to be sister to S. murallae. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. a. americana (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – NE Venezuela (Sucre S to Delta Amacuro) E to the Guianas and N Brazil (Amapá and NE Pará); also Tobago.
  • S. a. dispar Todd, 1922 – middle and lower R Amazon from Manacapuru on N bank and R Juruá on S bank E to Santarém (Brazil).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; 10–14 g. A relatively stocky seedeater with large, short and deep bill. Male nominate race has black head contrasting with white band across side of neck running... read more


    Song pleasant and musical, although nasal, and generally lasting for several seconds; consists of... read more


    Forest edge and second growth, often near mangrove swamps. Lowlands, mainly on coastal plain, to 50... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on seeds of grasses, sedges (Cyperaceae) and weeds, with preference for Paspalum and Panicum maximum; also takes... read more


    Recorded in Jan. Nest resembles that of S. intermedia, made of stems and tendrils, lined with fine black fibres that create “... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to rare; probably most common in Guyana. A 1934 report of nominate race from Chacachacare I (off NW Trinidad) considered of doubtful... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. (2019). Wing-barred Seedeater (Sporophila americana). 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 13 December 2019).