Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Black-headed Hemispingus (Pseudospingus verticalis)


French: Tangara à tête noire German: Schwarzkopf-Finkentangare Spanish: Hemispingo cabecinegro

Nemosia verticalis


, 1840,

Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia




Andes in W Venezuela (S Táchira), Colombia (W range in Antioquia, C range S to Nariño, and E range in Cundinamarca), Ecuador (E slope in Carchi, Napo and Zamora-Chinchipe) and N Peru (Piura, near Piura–Cajamarca border).

Descriptive notes

14 cm; 12–15·7 g. A small, rather dark hemispingus with thin bill. Has long clay-coloured median crownstripe, head and throat other­wise black (... read more


Song, singly or in duets or trios, a burst 5–15 seconds long of squeaky twittering notes... read more


Dense wet montane forest and mossy elfin woodland at tree-line, ranging out into tree-line shrubs... read more

Food and feeding

Insects; also various small berries, including those of melastomes. Contents of two stomachs were insects, including caterpillars and... read more


Breeding-condition bird and two immatures in Sept in Colombia. No other information.


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common. Found in numerous parks and protected sites, but intensive pressure from human colonization could place this... read more

Recommended citation

Hilty, S. (2019). Black-headed Hemispingus (Pseudospingus verticalis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 14 December 2019).