The White-collared Seedeaters are found from southern Texas to central Panama. On the Pacific slope, they occur from northern Mexico (Sinaloa) south to western Oaxaca, and from eastern Oaxaca south to western Panama. On the Caribbean slope, they occur from extreme southern Texas south to western Panama. It is found from the lowlands to at least 2000 meters (Parker et al. 1996).
Distribution outside the Americas
Endemic to the Americas.
The general habitat for the White-collared Seedeater is grassy and weedy fields, agricultural lands, pastures, and beach scrub (Slud 1964). They also are very common in the moist savanna (Davis 1972). Areas that have Polygonum, a coarse grass, are a favorite because it is a good seed source (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Since around 1965, there has been a decline of White-collared Seedeater population in southern Texas (Oberholser 1974, Eitniear 1997). This decline has been attributed to habitat loss and the use of agrochemicals (Oberholser 1974), but there are few or no data to support this (Eitniear 1997) and the causes of this decline have not been identified (Woodin et al. 1999).
The distribution has expanded "greatly" in Costa Rica, due to deforestation (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Adel, F., K. J. Burns, J. C. Eitniear, and T. S. Schulenberg (2010). Morelet's/Cinnamon-rumped Seedeater (Sporophila morelleti/torqueola), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whcsee.01