Ornithological Note 394

Notes on the vocalizations of White-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila leucoptera)

Peter F. D. Boesman July 29, 2016
Section(s): Voice, Systematics

In the following we briefly analyze and compare voice of the different races of White-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila leucoptera). We also try to quantify the extent of any vocal differences using the criteria proposed by Tobias et al. (2010), as a support for taxonomic review. We have made use of sound recordings available on-line from Xeno Canto (XC).

Our main interest is to compare song of the distinct race bicolor with other races (illustrated with multiple sonograms in the pdf version of this note).

Song of both groups is a series of repeated melodious whistles. There is quite some variation in note shape and pace of delivery. Two  recordings from Bolivia (bicolor) have a more rhythmic pattern (see last sonogram for that race, which shows a subphrase of 4 notes repeated ), but some recordings from Brazil also have a more rythmic two-note structure, which is obviously not identical, but illustrates the variation in songs.

We can thus conclude that song of bicolor is very similar to other races, but may have somewhat more complex variations. More recordings are needed to determine how frequent these occur in both groups.

This note was finalized on 1st July 2016, using sound recordings available on-line at that moment. We would like to thank in particular the many sound recordists who placed their recordings for this species on XC.



Tobias, J.A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C.N., Pilgrim, J.D., Fishpool, L.D.C. & Collar, N.J. (2010). Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152(4): 724–746.

More Information: on394_white-bellied_seedeater.pdf 

Recommended Citation

Boesman, P. (2016). Notes on the vocalizations of White-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila leucoptera). HBW Alive Ornithological Note 394. In: Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow-on.100394