Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Masked Flowerpiercer (Diglossa cyanea)


French: Percefleur masqué German: Maskenhakenschnabel Spanish: Pinchaflor enmascarado

Uncirostrum cyaneum


, 1840,

Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia


See D. glauca (above). Populations in N (presumably tovarensis) and S of range in Venezuela sing differently, suggesting that two species might be involved#R. Distributional limits of race obscura uncertain; not yet recorded on Colombian side of Sierra de Perijá, but may extend S to meet nominate race near border of Venezuela with Colombia. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. c. tovarensis J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1952 – coastal cordillera of N Venezuela (in Aragua and Distrito Federal).
  • D. c. obscura Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1952 – Sierra de Perijá, in W Venezuela.
  • D. c. cyanea (Lafresnaye, 1840) – Andes of Venezuela (S from Trujillo) and all three ranges in Colombia and Andes of Ecuador (except far SW).
  • D. c. dispar J. T. Zimmer, 1942 – Andes of SW Ecuador and NW Peru.
  • D. c. melanopis Tschudi, 1844 – Andes of Peru (except NW) S to Andes in Bolivia (to Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; 12–22·5 g. Large, rich blue flowerpiercer with red eyes and large black mask, rather long and thin bill only slightly upturned and with relatively small... read more


    In N Venezuela, song (race tovarensis) given all year, a high, wiry series of 2–3... read more


    Humid montane forest (cloudforest) and forest borders and in smaller numbers to tree-line, where... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small fruits and berries (especially species of Melastomataceae), also some insects; more frugivorous than any other member of genus. Seen... read more


    Fledglings in Dec, Mar and Apr in Venezuela and Colombia and in Mar, May, Jul and Dec in Peru and Bolivia, immatures reported virtually... read more


    Poorly documented. In some areas undertakes seasonal or periodic movements, mostly between higher... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common; widespread. Occurs in many parks and reserves, among them Henri Pittier, Sierra Nevada and Tamá National Parks (... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2018). Masked Flowerpiercer (Diglossa 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 22 March 2018).