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New World Finches: Emberizidae

Blue-black Grassquit (volatinia Jacarina): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Blue-black grassquit males and females portray different characteristics. Males are blue-black all over, while females are brown with paler under parts and a dark-streaked chest. Juveniles look like adult females. They are 4.0 to 4.3 inches (10.2 to 10.9 centimeters) long, and weigh about 0.34 ounces (9.7 grams).

Geographic range: They range from central Mexico south to northern Chile, east to the eastern coast of Brazil, and south to central Argentina. They are also found on Grenada.


Habitat: Blue-black grassquits like low, seasonally wet grasslands, arid lowland scrublands, farmlands, riverside thickets, and weedy fields. The birds are found from sea level to 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) in altitude.


Diet: Their diet is almost always grass seeds, although they do sometimes eat insects and berries. They pick seeds from grass seed heads and from grit and seeds left on roads.


Behavior and reproduction: Males sing from perches that make them very visible. The also jump upward with a flick of their wings. In winter, they join flocks of a few hundred seed-eating birds. They are monogamous birds. Nests are built low to the ground, usually not more than 10 feet (3 meters) off the ground. From May through October, females lay two to three eggs. Incubation and fledgling periods are not known.


Blue-black grassquits and people: People and blue-black grassquits have no known significance between them.


Conservation status: Blue-black grassquits are not threatened. They are abundant in many areas. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsNew World Finches: Emberizidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Song Sparrow (melospiza Melodia): Species Accounts, Snow Bunting (plectrophenax Nivalis): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, NEW WORLD FINCHES AND PEOPL