Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Greater Flowerpiercer (Diglossa major)


French: Grand Percefleur German: Strichelhakenschnabel Spanish: Pinchaflor grande

D[iglossa]. major


, 1849,

#R, Cerro Roraima, 6000 feet [c. 1830 m], near border of Guyana and Venezuela


Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. m. gilliardi Chapman, 1939 – Auyán-tepui (SE Bolívar), in SE Venezuela.
  • D. m. disjuncta J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1944 – tepuis on W side of Gran Sabana (including Ptari-tepui, Sororopán-tepui, Uaipán-tepui, Aprada-tepui, and Acopán-tepui), in SE Venezuela.
  • D. m. chimantae Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1947 – Chimantá-tepui (SE Bolívar).
  • D. m. major Cabanis, 1849 – Cerro Roraima, including sites within Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana; also Cerro Cuquenán and Uei-tepui, in extreme SE Bolívar (Venezuela).
  • Also on Sierra de Lema (E Bolívar), race uncertain, presumably referable to nominate.

    Descriptive notes

    17·3 cm; 19–26 g (gilliardi), 17·5–25 g (disjuncta). The largest flowerpiercer, dark and rather long-tailed, with bill noticeably... read more


    Unusual song, typically delivered from prominent high perch by single individual, or in complex... read more


    Borders and middle and upper levels of humid and wet montane forest, stunted cloudforest, dense,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar, also insects. Occurs singly, in pairs when breeding, and is usually independent of mixed-species flocks. Forages from eye level up... read more


    Nests attributed to this species described as open cup of grass and small sticks situated among rocks, usually under overhanging shelf and... read more


    Few data; altitudinal movement noted. Marked seasonal movements at lower elevations (i.e. on Sierra... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Tepuis EBA. Rare (at low elevations) to abundant (higher elevations). Common to abundant above c... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Greater Flowerpiercer (Diglossa major). 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 21 February 2020).