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  • Writer's pictureJust Adventures Panama

From the Field: Ruddy-breasted Seedeater

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

The ruddy-breasted seedeater (Sporophila minuta) is a species of bird in the Emberizidea family. Although all Sporophila are small finches, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater is notable for being one of the smallest-bodied members of this genus. This also is one of the most northerly species of seedeater, and occurs from southern Mexico south to northern South America.

Male: mostly brownish gray above, wings and tail duskier with indistinct small whitish wing speculum; rump and entire underparts cinnamon-rofous, deepest on the throat. Female: buffy brown above, wings and tail duskier, feather with pale buff edging; below pale dule cinnamon to buffy brown.

Like other Sporophila, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater primarily forages on grass seeds in open habitats, and often forages in flocks outside of the breeding season.

The nest is a simple cup, but is notable because it usually contains a few stem grass stems that stick up above the rim of the cup.


BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Sporophila minuta. Downloaded from on 10/09/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 10/09/2014.

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