Greyish saltator

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Greyish saltator
Grausaltator .jpg
In the Pantanal, Brazil
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Saltator
S. coerulescens
Binomial name
Saltator coerulescens
(Vieillot, 1817)
Saltator coerulescens map 2.svg

The greyish saltator (Saltator coerulescens) is a passerine bird in the tanager family Thraupidae that is widespread in the tropical Americas. In El Salvador, it is well known as dichosofui after the "elaborate" version of its call, which sounds like a drawn-out ¡dichoso fui!, Spanish for "I was happy!"


The greyish saltator was formally described in 1817 by the French ornithologist Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot under the binomial name Saltator coerulescens.[2] Vieillot based his description on the "Habia de la Ceja Blanca" that Félix de Azara had described in 1802 in his book on birds in Paraguay and the Río de la Plata.[3][4] The specific epithet coerulescens is derived from Latin and means "blueish".[5]

There are 13 recognised subspecies.[6]


Juvenile in Venezuela

On average, the greyish saltator is 20 cm long and weighs 52 g. The plumage depends on age and subspecies, but in general this bird has grey or greyish-olive upperparts, a white stripe over the eye, a narrow white throat, a grey breast and a buff or cinnamon belly.

The common call is a long-drawn upward slur, ch'wheeet or ch'kweeee, sometimes with a more elaborate beginning, as hi'whee chu weeeeh. The song is a warble, usually fairly short, varying from nasal to mellow.[7]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species occurs in open woodland, plains and scrub, from Mexico through Central America into southern South America, south to Peru and the Paraná River region in northern Argentina.[8]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

The greyish saltator feeds on fruits,[9] buds and slow-moving arthropods. It forages at low and middle levels, sometimes in pairs or small groups and sometimes with mixed-species flocks that may include other saltators.[7]


The two pale blue subelliptic eggs per clutch measure some 23–31.5 mm long by about 17–22 mm wide and weigh about 5 grams each. They look unusual for this genus as they have a circle of blackish-brown hairstreaks and dots around the blunt end.[10] They are laid in a bulky cup nest 2–4 m high in a tree.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2017). "Saltator coerulescens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2018.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ Vieillot, Louis Jean Pierre (1817). Nouveau dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle, appliquée aux arts, à l'agriculture, à l'économie rurale et domestique, à la médecine, etc (in French). Volume 17. Paris: Deterville. pp. 105–106.
  3. ^ Azara, Félix de (1802). Apuntamientos para la historia natural de los páxaros del Paragüay y Rio de la Plata (in Spanish). Volume 1. Madrid: Imprenta de la Hija de Ibarra. p. 344–348, No. 81.
  4. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1970). Check-List of Birds of the World. Volume 13. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 232-233.
  5. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  6. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2020). "Tanagers and allies". IOC World Bird List Version 10.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  7. ^ a b Howell & Webb (1995)
  8. ^ BLI (2004), Bencke (2007)
  9. ^ E.g. of Trophis racemosa (Moraceae): Forster (2007).
  10. ^ Echeverry-Galvis & Córdoba-Córdoba (2006)

Further reading[edit]

  • Bencke, Glayson Ariel (2007): Avifauna atual do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil: aspectos biogeográficos e distribucionais ["The Recent avifauna of Rio Grande do Sul: Biogeographical and distributional aspects"]. Talk held on 2007-JUN-22 at Quaternário do RS: integrando conhecimento, Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. PDF abstract
  • Echeverry-Galvis, María Ángela & Córdoba-Córdoba, Sergio (2006): Descripción del huevo del saltátor collarejo (Saltator cinctus) y comentarios preliminares sobre huevos del género Saltator. ["Description of the egg of the Masked Saltator (S. cinctus) and preliminary comments on the eggs of the genus Saltator"]. Boletín de la Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitología 16(1): 76–84. [Spanish with English abstract] PDF fulltext
  • ffrench, Richard; O'Neill, John Patton & Eckelberry, Don R. (1991): A guide to the birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition). Comstock Publishing, Ithaca, N.Y.. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2
  • Foster, Mercedes S. (2007): The potential of fruiting trees to enhance converted habitats for migrating birds in southern Mexico. Bird Conservation International 17(1): 45–61. doi:10.1017/S0959270906000554 PDF fulltext
  • Hilty, Steven L. (2003): Birds of Venezuela. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
  • Howell, Steven N. G. & Webb, Sophie (1995): A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York. ISBN 0-19-854012-4
  • Stiles, F. Gary & Skutch, Alexander Frank (1989): A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Comistock, Ithaca. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4

External links[edit]