Unsorted Wild Birds

Black-faced Grassquits

The Black-faced Grassquits, Tiaris bicolor, is a small bird formerly placed with the Emberizidae. It is now recognized as a tanager closely related to Darwin’s finches.

Range / Distribution

It breeds in the West Indies except Cuba, on Tobago but not Trinidad, and along the northern coasts of Colombia and Venezuela.

This is a common bird in long grass or scrub in open or semi-open areas, including roadsides and rice fields.


It makes a domed grass nest, lined with finer grasses, and placed low in a bush or on a bank.

The typical clutch is two or three whitish eggs blotched with reddish brown. Both sexes build the nest and feed the young.


Adult Black-faced Grassquits are 10.2 cm long and weigh 10.5 g.

They have a short conical black bill with an obvious curve to the culmen.

The male is olive green above, paler grey-olive below, and has a black head and breast. Female and immature birds have dull olive-grey upper parts and heads, and paler grey underparts becoming whiter on the belly.

Males on the South American mainland have more extensively black underparts, shading to a grey belly.

Diet / Feeding

The Black-faced Grassquits feeds mainly on seeds, especially of grasses and weeds.

It is often found in small groups but is solitary at evening roosts.

Calls / Vocalizations

The male has a display flight in which he flies for short distances, vibrating his wings and giving a buzzing dik-zeezeezee call.

Beauty Of Birds strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please contact us. THANK YOU!!!


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button