Tawny-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila hypoxantha)
Tawny-bellied Seedeater, Brazil, Sept 2000 - click for larger image Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil
September 2000

There was a small flock of these seedeaters in the grasses at the side of the Transpantaneira Highway. They are migratory but this must be fairly close to their northern limit.

This male Tawny-bellied Seedeater has its back to us and shows its grey back and crown and its tawny-rufous rump. The rump was quite dark in colour which led us to think that we might be looking at the much rarer Rufous-rumped Seedeater (Sporophila hypochroma) but we applied the Third Law of Bird Identification ("If you have two possibilities and one is common and the other rare, you are probably looking at the common one") and decided that it was a Tawny-bellied Seedeater.

[Having now seen Rufous-rumped Seedeater I no wonder if this is correctly identified but the photo is not great and I will try to get a better image of Tawny-bellied in the future]

There is an illustration in Ridgely & Tudor, Plate 26.

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