Buff-throated Saltator, Saltator maximus


Buff-throated Saltator
Saltators form a loosely defined genus of neotropical songbirds that have traditionally been classified in the cardinal family, but recent DNA studies suggest that they belong with the tanagers. Their appearance tempts North Americans to call them "grosbeaks," a term we apply to (sometimes distantly-related) songbirds with large bills. The Buff-throated is found mostly in the lowlands, though this one was in the cloudforest at 5000 feet. The other saltator I photographed in Ecuador, the Streaked, a bird of arid habitat, was at higher altitude in the outskirts of Quito.