Black-headed Saltator

The Black-headed Saltator, Saltator atriceps, is a seedeating bird that breeds from central Mexico to eastern Panama, where it is found in dense vegetation.


The Black-headed Saltator measures about 24 cm in length and weighs 85 g.

The adult has a slate-grey head with a whitish supercilium. The upperparts are yellowish green, the underparts are pale grey, and the throat is white edged with black. The thick bill is black and the legs are brown.

The juveniles plumage is duller, and have mottling on the chest and brown markings on the underparts.

This species is similar to the Buff-throated Saltator, but is larger and has a darker head and paler underparts.

Call / Vocalization:

The common call is a raucous deeeer. The song is a loud scratchy cher cher jur jur weeee, often given by males as a duet.

Diet Feeding:

The Black-headed Saltator feeds on fruit, buds, nectar and slow-moving insects. It forages at low and mid levels, sometimes with mixed species flocks.

Breeding / Nesting:

The two black-marked pale blue eggs per clutch measure some 24-34 mm long by about 18-23.5 mm wide and weigh about 4.9-5.5 grams each. They are laid in a bulky grass-lined cup nest up to 3 m high in a thicket between April and July.

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