Tuesday 21 May
Chestnut seedeater (Sporophila cinnamomea)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Chestnut seedeater fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Chestnut seedeater description
A small but stocky finch species, the chestnut seedeater is reddish-brown with a grey crown. The wings are edged with grey and a white patch can be seen at the base of the primaries. The bill, feet and legs are dark grey. Females are duller in colour and are hard to distinguish from females of other Sporophila species, particularly since the chestnut seedeater associates with other Sporophila species on migration and during the winter. Males call with thin, warbling whistles (2).
- Length: 10 cm (2)
Chestnut seedeater biology
Although normally active during the day, the male may sing at night during the breeding season, as he tries to attract females and defend his territory. When singing, the male chooses a prominent spot, points his beak vertically and ruffles his feathers. He will also fight with and chase away other males. Whilst thought to be mainly monogamous, chestnut seedeaters may mate promiscuously when the population is at a high density. Once laying has taken place, pairs remain faithful; the female incubates the eggs alone, but the male joins her in feeding and caring for the nestlings (4).
The chestnut seedeater balances on tall grasses to pick seeds from the seed heads, and consumes no other food (4).Top
Chestnut seedeater range
The chestnut seedeater breeds in northeast Argentina, west and southeast Uruguay, southeast Paraguay and southernmost Brazil. It migrates after breeding, moving to wintering grounds within this range (2).Top
Chestnut seedeater habitat
Inhabits wet grassland and marshes, particularly with tall, dense grasses, as well as on agricultural land (2).Top
Chestnut seedeater status
The chestnut seedeater is classified as Vulnerable (VU A2cde + 3cde; C2a(i)) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1) and is listed on Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS or Bonn Convention) (3).Top
Chestnut seedeater threats
This species has suffered a sharp decline as a result of two main factors. It is caught in large numbers for the caged-bird trade, with trappers making use of a calling male seedeater in a cage which attracts further birds. The habitat of this bird is undergoing afforestation with eucalyptus and pine trees for logging, despite these plant species being poorly adapted to the wet ground and showing weak growth. Additionally, pesticides and fertilisers are draining from agricultural areas into the marshes home to the chestnut seedeater. Mechanised agricultural practices, invasive grasses and annual burning threaten the winter habitats (2).Top
Chestnut seedeater conservation
Trapping is illegal in Argentina and the chestnut seedeater is present in the country’s El Palmar National Park where it is known to breed. It has also been recorded as a non-breeding visitor to Emas National Park in Brazil. To reverse the decline of this species, governments must alter their policies to remove incentives currently offered for afforesting grasslands. A network of reserves through the southern Paraguayan grasslands and a total ban on trapping and trade are also necessary for the recovery of this species. An action plan must be developed and surveying must continue (2).Top
AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: email@example.comTop
- Having only one mate during a breeding season, or throughout the breeding life of a pair.
- In birds, the outer flight feathers.
- IUCN Red List (March, 2005)
- BirdLife International (March, 2005)
- CMS (March, 2005)
- Olendorf, D., Bock, W.J., Jackson, J.A. and Hutchins, M. (2002) Grizmek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia Volume II: Birds VI. Gale Group, Minnesota.
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.