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Arremon taciturnus

Pectoral Sparrow

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Emberizidae
  • Polytypic 3 Subspecies

Authors: Valdez-Juarez, Simon Octavio, Thomas S. Schulenberg, and Alvaro Jaramillo

Arremon taciturnus

Pacoti, Ceará, Brazil; 14 August 2009 © Ciro Albano

Pectoral Sparrow is a species of edge and undergrowth of older forest and second growth, ranging from the lowlands up to 1000 m. The English name for the species comes from the dark breast (or "pectoral") band that is present in some subspecies. All populations of Pectoral Sparrows have a black bill, a black face and a contrasting white supercilium; they also have a bold white throat and a gray median crown stripe. The upperparts are a vivid grass green, becoming more yellowish at the bend of the wing, and are generally whitish below with gray washed flanks. The northwestern subspecies axillaris (which occurs from the base of the eastern Andes in Colombia east to western Venezuela) has a bicolored bill pattern and the pectoral band broken, so that only dark spurs are present on the sides of the breast. Southwestern (Peru and Bolivia) nigrirostris has a black bill like the widespread nominate form, but a broken breast band. This sparrow forages largely on the ground, often in pairs, usually hidden in undergrowth. It may forage by scratching at and shifting leaf litter while on ground, or in low shrubs in the undergrowth. The song of Pectoral Sparrow is simple, a series of high pitched hisses: zitip, zeee zeee zeee.

Recommended Citation

Valdez-Juarez, Simon Octavio, Thomas S. Schulenberg, and Alvaro Jaramillo. 2012. Pectoral Sparrow (Arremon taciturnus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map provided by Robert S. Ridgely.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Tropical lowland evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial/Understory
  • Foraging Behavior:Glean
  • Diet:Omnivorous
  • Sociality:Solitary/Pairs
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Spherical
  • Clutch: 2 - 2
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern