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A photo of a Thick-billed Seed Finch (Sporophila funerea), male
Thick-billed Seed Finch, Male

Thick-billed Seed Finch

Sporophila funerea

The thick-billed seed finch, Sporophila funerea, presents a striking sexual dimorphism. The male is cloaked in an almost uniform black plumage, save for a small, conspicuous white patch on the wing. In contrast, the female is adorned in a rich, uniform brown. Both sexes boast a robust bill, notable for its size and straight culmen, which sets them apart from their avian kin.

Identification Tips

When identifying the thick-billed seed finch, look for the male's black plumage with a white wing patch and the female's all-over brown coloration. The species is characterized by a large bill with a straight upper edge, or culmen. They are relatively small birds, measuring approximately 11.5 cm in length and weighing around 13.5 g.

Habitat

This bird favors shrubby and grassy areas, where it can be found flitting about or perched conspicuously on a stem.

Distribution

The thick-billed seed finch has a wide range, extending from southern Mexico through Central America and reaching into the ChocΓ³ region of Colombia and Ecuador.

Behaviour

Observations of the thick-billed seed finch reveal a bird that is at home in its grassy domain, actively foraging and interacting with its environment.

Similar Species

The thick-billed seed finch is often confused with the all-black Caribbean slope form of the variable seedeater. However, the finch's larger bill with a straight culmen is a distinguishing feature.

Diet and Feeding

As its name suggests, the thick-billed seed finch has a diet that primarily consists of seeds, which it adeptly handles with its robust bill.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List currently classifies the thick-billed seed finch as Least Concern, indicating that, for now, this species does not face immediate threats to its survival.

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