Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Cinereous Conebill (Conirostrum cinereum)


French: Conirostre cendré German: Weißstirn-Spitzschnabel Spanish: Conirrostro cinéreo

Conirostrum cinereum

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1838,

Yungas, Bolivia


Hitherto treated as conspecific with C. fraseri (which see). Lower-elevation race littorale moderately distinct from nominate, being paler overall (1), rather smaller (effect size for wing –2.52, score 2), arguably with different habitat requirements (ns yet) and apparently with a daytime song with a much narrower frequency range (typically 3–5 kHz vs 7–9 kHz) and higher minimum frequency (typically >5 kHz vs >2 kHz)#R; thus very close to species rank, but further evidence on voice needed to confirm distinctions and to score them robustly. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. littorale Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1896 – Buff-bellied Conebill – W & NE Peru (W coast and W slope of Andes from Cajamarca, and E slope of Andes in upper Marañón Valley) S to N Chile (Tarapacá).
  • C. c. cinereum d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1838 – Cinereous Conebill – C highlands and tree-line on E slope of Andes in Peru (from Huánuco) S to N Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba and Potosí).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–12 cm; 7·5–10·3 g (littorale). Greyish conebill with thin, sharply pointed bill. Nominate race has crown dusky, narrow white band on base of forehead extending... read more


    Infrequently heard song a variable, fast jumble of twittering notes and phrases, rather like those... read more


    In Andean highlands found near treeline in dry to moderately humid zones, especially bushy woodland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food items appear to be mainly small insects; once a green caterpillar, and perhaps also berries. Seen singly, in pairs and in small... read more


    Eggs in Nov in N Chile and Apr in Bolivia (La Paz); fledglings or juveniles in May and Jun in Peru (Puno, Huánuco) and Aug in Bolivia (La... read more


    Mostly resident. Some local or seasonal movements likely, especially in dry treeline zones.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common. Occurs in a number of protected areas, including Manu National Park (Peru) and Madidi and Amboró National Parks... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Cinereous Conebill (Conirostrum cinereum). 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 13 December 2019).