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Temminck's Seedeater Sporophila falcirostris
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The destruction of this species's habitat is exacerbated by its nomadism and dependence on bamboo flowerings (Collar et al. 1992). The population is now likely to be small and rapidly declining, qualifying it as Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

11 cm. Mostly grey seedeater. Male pale bluish-grey, whiter towards lower abdomen. Buffy-brown undertail-coverts. Distinctive all-yellow bill with high, curved maxilla and large mandible. White patch at base of primaries. Females similar but dusky brown and with dark bill. Similar spp. Male Uniform Finch Haplospiza unicolor has small, dark bill. Male Plumbeous Seedeater S. plumbea has white chin, dark bill and more prominent wing markings. Voice Very high-pitched, buzzy trill followed by single notes.

Distribution and population
Sporophila falcirostris is rare in the Atlantic forest of south-east Brazil, east Paraguay and north-east Argentina. In Brazil, recent records are concentrated in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, with others in Bahia (Silveira et al. 2005, A. C. De Luca and P. Develey in litt. 2007]), Espírito Santo (1940, 2003-2004 [Simon 2004] and undated), Minas Gerais (specimen from 1936), and Paraná (2001-2004 [Carrano et al. 2004] and a specimen from 1930). In Argentina, recent records come from Misiones: río Iguazú, río Paraná (Areta et al. 2009, in review, Krauczuk and Castía 2009, Bodrati et al. in press) and the Yaboty Biosphere Reserve (La Grotteria and Alvarado 2012). The Paraguayan records are from Salto do Guaíra (1977) and Mbaracayú (1995) in Canindeyú, and Caaguazú in Caazapá (1995) (Madroño and Esquivel 1995, Lowen et al. 1996). It has been considered locally common, with recent records in Argentina of hundreds of individuals during mast seeding of Guadua chacoensis bamboo (A. Bodrati in litt. 2012; Areta et al. in review). It is much rarer than the sympatric Buffy-fronted Seedeater S. frontalis (L. F. Silveira in litt. 2012).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
A rapid and on-going population decline is suspected owing to rates of habitat loss and capture for the wild bird trade.

This nomadic bamboo specialist occurs mainly in the middle and higher strata of secondary or disturbed forest, forest borders and urban areas (Areta et al. 2009, in review, A. Bodrati in litt. 2012). It has been observed in Chusquea and Guadua bamboo, and records in Argentina coincide with Guadua masting events (Areta et al. 2009). It feeds primarily on bamboo seeds, turning to the seeds of other species and insects when the former are not available (Areta et al. 2009). In Argentina nesting occurred at the peak of the recent Guadua chacoensis bamboo masting event, in G. chacoensis stands with seeds (Areta et al. in review, A. Bodrati in litt. 2012). By the end of the masting event, there were many females feeding juveniles, and groups of juveniles feeding on the remaining bamboo seeds (Areta et al. in review, A. Bodrati in litt. 2012).

The continuing clearance of Atlantic forest has extended the physical and temporal distances between bamboo flowerings and nestings, and its nomadic habits suggest that existing reserves may afford inadequate protection. It is relatively scarce in trade, but this is almost certainly a reflection of its rarity rather than a lack of demand.

Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected under Brazilian law, and has occurred in Una and Tinguá Biological Reserves; Desengano, Serra do Mar, Ilha do Cardoso, Jacupiranga, Curucutu, Intervales, Cantareira, Ilha Bela, Pico Marumbi and Graciosa State Parks; Itatiaia National Park; Juréia-Itatins and Guaraguaçu Ecological Stations, Ubatuba Experimental Station and Serra Bonita private reserve, Bahia (Wege and Long 1995, E. Machado in litt. 2007, L. F. Silveira in litt. 2012). In Paraguay, it has occurred in Mbaracayú Forest Nature Reserve (Madroño and Esquivel 1995) and Caaguazú National Park (Lowen et al. 1996) and, in Argentina, Iguazú National Park.
Conservation Actions Proposed
Develop a long-term study of bamboo specialist birds in Atlantic forest to determine the movements of birds. Investigate which bamboo species are favoured, and assess the distribution of suitable bamboo stands. Protect stands of even secondary forest outside reserves to facilitate its nomadic movements. Effectively protect existing reserves, especially against trappers during bamboo flowerings. Completely ban the capture of wild birds. Develop a CMS agreement for nomadic bamboo species.

Areta, J. I.; Bodrati, A.; Cockle, K. 2009. Specialization on Guadua bamboo seeds by three bird species in the Atlantic forest of Argentina. Biotropica 41(1): 66-73.

Areta, J. I.; Bodrati, A.; Thom, G.; Eisen Rupp, A.; Velázquez, M.; Holzmann, I.; Carrano, E.; Zimmerman, C. E. In review. Natural history, distribution and conservation of two nomadic Atlantic forest Sporophila bamboo-seedeaters.

Bodrati, A.; Areta, J. I.; White, E. in press. La avifauna de la Posada Puerto Bemberg (Puerto Libertad), Misiones, Argentina. Nuestras Aves.

Carrano, E.; Santos, R.E. F.; Patrial, E.W.; Ribas, C. F.; Klemann-Júnior, L. 2004. Composiçao e conservaçao des aves na floresta estuadal do Palmito, Município de Paranaguá, Paraná. Resumos do XII Congresso Brasileiro de Ornitologia, pp. 189. Universidade Regionale de Blumenau, Blumenau, Brazil.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Krauczuk, E. R.; Castía, F. 2009. Notes on geographic distribution on birds species in Misiones Province, Argentina. Atualidades Ornitologicas 151: 37–38.

La Grotteria, J.; Alvarado, H. 2012. Corbatita Picudo (Sporophila falcirostris) en la Reserva de Biosfera Yaboty, Misiones, Argentina. Nuestras Aves 57: 37-38.

Lowen, J. C.; Bartrina, L.; Clay, R. P.; Tobias, J. A. 1996. Biological surveys and conservation priorities in eastern Paraguay (the final reports of Projects Canopy '92 and Yacutinga '95). CSB Conservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Madroño N., A.; Esquivel, E. Z. 1995. Reserva Natural del Bosque de Mbaracayú. Cotinga: 52-57.

Silveira, L. F.; Develey, P. F.; Pacheco, J. F.; Whitney, B.M. 2005. Avifauna of the Serra das Lontras-Javi montane complex, Bahia, Brazil. Cotinga 24: 45-54.

Simon, J. E. 2004. Registro de aves raras com a frutificaçao de taquaras na regiao de Santa Teresa, Espírito Santo, Brasil. Resumos do XII Congresso Brasileiro de Ornitologia: 381.

Wege, D. C.; Long, A. J. 1995. Key Areas for threatened birds in the Neotropics. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Capper, D., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R.

Bodrati, A., Cockle, K., De Luca, A., Develey, P., Machado, É., Silveira, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Sporophila falcirostris. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Temminck’s seedeater (Sporophila falcirostris) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Emberizidae (Buntings, American sparrows and allies)
Species name author (Temminck, 1820)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 41,100 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species