Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Capped Conebill (Conirostrum albifrons)


French: Conirostre coiffé German: Kappenspitzschnabel Spanish: Conirrostro coronado

Conirostrum albifrons


, 1842,

Bogotá, Colombia


Dark-crowned races atrocyaneum, sordidum and lugens have sometimes been regarded as representing a separate species, but no other characters distinguishing these taxa are known; recordings of vocalizations too few to discern patterns, but limited current evidence confusing and fails to reflect the division implied by crown-colour differences. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. cyanonotum Todd, 1932 – N Venezuela (coastal cordillera of Aragua, Vargas and Distrito Federal).
  • C. a. albifrons Lafresnaye, 1842 – White-capped Conebill – W Venezuela (Andes of S Táchira) and W slope of E Andes of Colombia (S to latitude of Bogotá).
  • C. a. centralandium Meyer de Schauensee, 1946 – C Andes of Colombia (Antioquia S to W Huila, and on E slope in Nariño).
  • C. a. atrocyaneum Lafresnaye, 1848 – Blue-capped Conebill – W Andes of Colombia (Antioquia S on W slope to Nariño) S through Ecuador to N Peru (Piura and Cajamarca).
  • C. a. sordidum Berlepsch, 1901 – Andes of C Peru (from Junín) S to N Bolivia (La Paz).
  • C. a. lugens Berlepsch, 1901 – Andes of Bolivia (Cochabamba and Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–13·5 cm; 11·7–21·5 g (Colombia). Medium-sized conebill with thin, sharp bill and tail-wagging habit. Male ­nominate race has crown... read more


    Infrequently heard song, mainly at dawn, a high-pitched and penetrating “itsu-tseeu, tsu-... read more


    High humid and wet montane forest, especially at forest borders; also older disturbed vegetation,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly (possibly entirely) insects. Forages singly or, more often, in pairs or small groups, and as a rule is seen with mixed-species... read more


    Birds in breeding condition in Mar–Sept in Andes of Colombia. No further information available.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally fairly common over much of range. Occurs in numerous protected areas, among them El Avila, Henri Pittier, Guaramacal, Sierra Nevada and Tam... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2019). Capped Conebill (Conirostrum albifrons). 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 11 December 2019).