Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps

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


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Photos from this Account

Black-headed Saltator (subspecies atriceps).

The head is black or black and dark gray, with a narrow white supercilium, and a white throat. The back, wings, and tail are olive green. The breast, belly, and flanks are gray, with tawny undertail coverts. The pale throat is bordered below by a broad black breastband.

Black-headed Saltator (subspecies atriceps).

Back, scapulars, wings, rump, uppertail coverts, and tail bright yellowish olive green, brightest on the tail. Breast and belly ash gray, paler distally, and tinged with brown on the lower flanks. Tibial feathers brown or pale olive. Undertail coverts orange ochraceous, the feathers more olivaceous medially.

Immature Black-headed Saltator (subspecies atriceps).

Immature Black-headed Saltator are similar to adults, but the black of the head and breast is duller and less sharply defined. The white throat patch is smaller and less sharply defined, with dusky mottling; the breast scaled or smudged with dusky; the supercilium dull and indistinct; and upperparts darker.

Black-headed Saltator (subspecies suffuscus).

Subspecies suffuscus is similar to nominate atriceps, but center of throat cinnamon, not white.

Black-headed Saltator (subspecies suffuscus).
Black-headed Saltator .

Locality suggests this bird is subspecies flavicrissus. Subspecies flavicrissus is similar to nominate atriceps, but "black pectoral collar averaging broader, less broken with white feathers; white throat patch consequently averaging smaller; flanks less washed with brownish or olive; crissum and under tail coverts more olive ochraceous, less orange."

Black-headed Saltator.

Locality suggests this bird could be subspecies raptor. Subspecies raptor is "not a markedly distinct race"; it is similar to nominate atriceps, but differs "in being more pale below and in having its flanks nearly concolor with the back, rather than olivaceous."

Black-headed Saltator.

Locality suggests this bird could be subspecies peeti. Subspecies peeti is similar to nominate atriceps, but larger.

Black-headed Saltator (subspecies lacertosus).

Subspecies lacertosus is similar to nominate atriceps, but the black breast band is reduced or lacking; the sides of the head are slate gray with no black mixed in. The white supercilium is more distinct and the central olive shaft streaks on the feathers of the undertail coverts is reduced or lacking.

Black-headed Saltator foraging.

Diet is not known in much detail, although generally Black-headed Saltators consume small fruit and seeds, insects, and some flowers and buds.

Black-headed Saltator vocalizing.

Black-headed Saltator generally is loud and noisy.

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.