Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Least Concern

Olivaceous Thornbill (Chalcostigma olivaceum)


French: Métallure olivâtre German: Braunes Glanzschwänzchen Spanish: Colibrí oliváceo

Ramphomicron olivaceus


, 1864,

La Paz, Bolivia


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. o. pallens Carriker, 1935 – locally on W slope in C Peru (Ancash to NW Junín).
  • C. o. olivaceum (Lawrence, 1864) – locally in E Andes of SE Peru (from Apurímac) to WC Bolivia (La Paz).
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 8–9 g. Male has short, straight, black bill; body uniformly dark olive green; throat patch narrow and emerald green, with elongation (“beard... read more


    Voice unknown. Apparently hardly vocal.


    Usually in typical puna grassland and cushion plant communities, sometimes in low... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seen feeding from prostrate red flowers (perhaps Castilleja) on boggy slope. Largely insectivorous. Reported to pick up insects... read more


    Specimens with enlarged gonads found Jan in Bolivia; juveniles seen in Feb–Apr in C Peru and in May around La Paz. Attracted to ... read more


    No information, but presumably sedentary; seasonal altitudinal movements possible.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Peruvian High Andes EBA and High Andes of Bolivia and Argentina EBA. Uncommon and locally distributed... read more

    Recommended citation

    Heindl, M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Olivaceous Thornbill (Chalcostigma olivaceum). 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 29 February 2020).