Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Bluish Flowerpiercer (Diglossa caerulescens)


French: Percefleur bleuté German: Silberhakenschnabel Spanish: Pinchaflor azulado

Diglossopis cærulescens

P. L. Sclater

, 1856,

Caracas, Venezuela


See D. glauca. Some races of present species weakly differentiated; a slightly paler specimen of saturata from El Chaco, on E slope in Ecuador, is perhaps intermediate between that race and media. Populations from C & W Andes of Colombia and adjacent NW Ecuador (currently placed in saturata) have been suggested as belonging to an as yet unnamed race, and populations from most of Ecuadorian range of media (except SW Ecuador) may represent an additional undescribed race; further study required. Race erroneously named as intermedia in HBW was already suggested as perhaps not meriting recognition, and that population is now returned to media; as a junior primary homonym, name intermedia is permanently invalid. Six subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. c. ginesi Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1952 – upper R Negro region of Sierra de Perijá, in W Venezuela.
  • D. c. caerulescens (P. L. Sclater, 1856) – coastal cordillera of N Venezuela (Carabobo, Aragua, Vargas and Distrito Federal).
  • D. c. saturata (Todd, 1917) – Andes of Venezuela (from Trujillo S to Táchira), and all three ranges in Colombia and apparently Andes of N Ecuador (S to Pichincha on W slope; a specimen from El Chaco on E slope).
  • D. c. media J. Bond, 1955 – N portion of E slope of Andes in Ecuador (specimen from at least as far N as Sierra Azul, in Napo) S to E slope in N Peru (Cajamarca and N Amazonas).
  • D. c. pallida (Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1896) – N & C Peru (from S side of R Marañón S to La Libertad, Lima and Junín).
  • D. c. mentalis J. T. Zimmer, 1942 – E slope of Andes in S Peru S to Bolivia (La Paz).
  • Descriptive notes

    13·5 cm; 10·1–16 g. Relatively dull, bluish flowerpiercer with rather long and thin bill only slightly upturned and with proportionately smaller hook at tip than in any other... read more


    In Peru, song described as a variable, high, lisping, melancholy warble, descending in pitch; in... read more


    Humid montane forest, older second growth and forest borders; in S part of range (Peru) may favour... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, also small berries (especially Miconia), and reported taking fruits of Cavendishia bracteata in Colombia and of... read more


    Nest with eggs in Feb in Venezuela (Trujillo), juvenile/immature in Dec (Santander) and eight birds in breeding condition in Jun–Aug in... read more


    Mainly resident. Seasonal movements reported (without details) in N Venezuela; occasional records... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common and relatively widespread; scarce or absent locally, e.g. in NW Ecuador. Occurs in numerous protected areas, including Henri Pittier and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2019). Bluish Flowerpiercer (Diglossa caerulescens). 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 19 May 2019).