Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Blue-naped Chlorophonia (Chlorophonia cyanea)


French: Organiste à nuque bleue German: Grünorganist Spanish: Clorofonia nuquiazul

Pipra cyanea


, 1822,

locality uncertain, possibly Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Implication in HBW that, owing to the nominate race’s geographical isolation, all other races might better be treated as a separate species unwarranted; both vocal#R and plumage differences few and small. Races psittacina, frontalis and minuscula are all very similar, and may not even warrant subspecific separation. Seven subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. psittacina Bangs, 1902 – Santa Marta Mts, in N Colombia.
  • C. c. frontalis (P. L. Sclater, 1851) – mountains of N Venezuela (Falcón and Lara E to Miranda).
  • C. c. minuscula Hellmayr, 1922 – mountains of NE Venezuela (Anzoátegui, Monagas and Sucre).
  • C. c. intensa J. T. Zimmer, 1943 – W slope of W Andes (in Caldas and Valle), in Colombia.
  • C. c. longipennis (du Bus de Gisignies, 1855) – Andes from W Venezuela (S from S Lara) S generally through Colombian ranges (except W slope of W Andes), Ecuador and Peru to Bolivia (to Cochabamba and W Santa Cruz).
  • C. c. roraimae Salvin & Godman, 1884 – tepuis of S Venezuela (Amazonas and Bolívar) E to Guyana and in mountains of extreme NW Brazil (R Padauirí, on Venezuela border).
  • C. c. cyanea (Thunberg, 1822) – SE Brazil (S from S Bahia) S to E Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones).
  • Descriptive notes

    11 cm; 11–15 g. Short-tailed, with chunky shape, stubby bill and colourful plumage. Male nominate race has head, throat and chest glistening emerald-green, bold bright... read more


    Calls include a soft nasal “ek” or “enk” note, apparently mainly as for... read more


    In most areas found mainly in humid and wet pre-montane and montane forest, at forest borders, and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Almost exclusively fruit; some insects. Takes variety of small berries, especially those of Miconia, and in Paraguay takes fruit... read more


    In Colombia, three nests found in May in Santa Marta Mts, nest-building observed Jan and Jun and four begging juveniles in May and Jul in... read more


    Some seasonal movements, especially elevational shifts in mountains; in Peru, individuals present... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Rare to locally fairly common. Widespread in montane regions, although distribution somewhat patchy, with abundance variable. Occurs in numerous... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. & Bonan, A. (2020). Blue-naped Chlorophonia (Chlorophonia cyanea). 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 29 February 2020).