Principally a bird of cerrado regions, being less tolerant of substandard habitats than some other open-country seedeaters, this Sporophila is very distinctive in male plumage, which is mostly cinnamon-colored with a contrasting black crown, wings, and tail, with a white wing speculum. Especially in the non-breeding season, the species frequently consorts with other congenerics, which sometimes form very large flocks in suitable habitat. Widespread over eastern South America, from Suriname locally south to northeast Argentina and eastern Paraguay, the Capped Seedeater has traditionally been considered to comprise four subspecies, but the results of a recent study suggest that it might be better to treat the complex as two species, one with rather paler body plumage, and the other with deep cinnamon feathering. Vernacular names for the two species have yet to be suggested.

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