The Plumbeous Seedeater ranges across northern South America north of the Amazon, generally between northeast Colombia and the Guianas, and then reappears much further south in southern and eastern Brazil, east to southeasternmost Peru, and south to eastern Paraguay and northeast Argentina. At least in some parts of the species’ range it seems to be somewhat migratory. Often found near water, the species always prefers grassy areas, often with a few scattered bushes, and frequently consorts with congenerics in mixed-species flocks. Male Plumbeous Seedeaters are very distinctive being largely grayish above with a white wing speculum, black wings and tail, and largely white underparts, with a black bill (over most of the range). Females are also dark-billed, but otherwise largely similar to several other species of Sporophila.