Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 6 subspecies
  • Authors: Anant Deshwal, Pooja Panwar, and Ragupathy Kannan


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Black-headed Saltator
eBird range map for Black-headed Saltator

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Black-headed Saltator occurs from northeastern Mexico south to Panama. On the Caribbean slope, it is distributed from southern Tamaulipas (Mexico) south through southeastern Mexico, including the Yucatán Peninsula, Belize, eastern Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica to central Panama, where it occurs east to western Kuna Yala (Miller et al. 1957, Binford 1989a, Ridgway and Gwynne 1989, Stiles and Skutch 1989, Howell and Webb 1995, Jones 2004, ; there also is a single sight record from eastern Panama in Darién (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989). Black-headed Saltator is present on the Pacific slope of southern Mexico (Guerrero to Chiapas) south through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, to central Costa Rica; it also is local on the Pacific slope of western and central Panama (Miller et al. 1957, Binford 1989a, Ridgway and Gwynne 1989, Stiles and Skutch 1989, Howell and Webb 1995,

Black-headed Saltator primarily occurs in the lowlands, up to 1800 m in Mexico (Howell and Webb 1995), and up to 1330 m in Costa Rica (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Black-headed Saltator is a woodland generalist (Greenberg et al. 2000), and occupies humid to semiarid forest edge, plantations, low dense second growth, brushy pastures, and gardens (Stiles and Skutch 1989, Howell and Webb 1995), often near water (Sutton 1951, Stiles and Skutch 1989). It is among the commonest birds found in cacao and coffee plantations (Greenberg et al. 1996, Greenberg et al. 2000). Black-headed Saltator occupies all strata, from the understory to the canopy (Parker et al. 1996), but perhaps is most frequent from the midstory to the canopy (Jones 2004).

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Deshwal, A., P. Panwar, and R. Kannan (2019). Black-headed Saltator (Saltator atriceps), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.