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Ultramarine Grosbeak - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Keebs
Costanera Sur, Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 2012
Cyanoloxia brissonii

Cyanoloxia brissonii
Cyanocompsa cyanea


6" (15cm)
Very heavy black bill (slightly swollen)
Male: very similar to male Blue-black Grosbeak but slightly smaller, rump paler and brighter than back (not uniform with back), and bill somewhat curved and swollen.
Female: resembles female Blue-black Grosbeak but slightly smaller and pale sandy brown (not rich dark brown) with underparts obviously paler than upperparts.


South America: In Colombia, pacific slope in drier parts of upper Dagua Valley (mostly above Cisneros), upper Patia Valley and mid Cauca Valley in Valle (Cali, Palmira, and Buga area). Spottily in north Venezuela, east Brazil, and Mato Grosso, Paraguay, Argentina, and east Bolivia.


Photo © by pablo
Buenos Aires, Argentina


There are 5 subspecies[1]:

  • C. b. caucae:
  • Western Colombia (valleys of upper Río Patía, upper Cauca and Dagua)
  • C. b. minor:
  • Mountains of northern Venezuela (Falcón to Lara, Sucre and Monagas)
  • C. b. brissonii:
  • North-eastern Brazil (Piauí and Ceará to Bahia)
  • C. b. sterea:
  • C. b. argentina:

Placed in the genus Cyanocompsa by some authorities.


Woodland and caatinga, thickets in semi-open areas. At heights around 300-1600m.



Song: recalls Blue-black Grosbeak's but higher-pitched and faster; a flat warbled wee-se-weep wee-so-weeep wee see wee-so-weeep without latter's two slow introductory phrases.
Call: sharp, metallic pik call unlike that of Blue-black Grosbeak.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.

Recommended Citation


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