Family Cotingas (Cotingidae)

Least Concern

Snowy Cotinga (Carpodectes nitidus)


French: Cotinga neigeux German: Grauscheitelkotinga Spanish: Cotinga níveo

Carpodectes nitidus


, 1865,

Tucurriquí, Costa Rica


Sister to C. antoniae, and sometimes considered conspecific. See also C. hopkei. Monotypic.


Caribbean slope from NW Honduras S to extreme W Panama; sight record from extreme E Guatemala#R.

Descriptive notes

19·5–21 cm; mean 105 g. Wide-based bill with ridged culmen, tip of upper mandible notched, distinctly uncinate; rictal bristles absent in male, slightly... read more


Male call seldom heard, consists of 2–6 rapidly repeated notes, between “chü” and “chee”.


Canopy of humid forest and adjacent tall secondary growth; to c. 750 m.

Food and feeding

Fruits, especially of Lauraceae, mistletoes (Loranthaceae) and figs (Ficus); plucked either while perched or in brief flight sally.


Data only from Costa Rica (three records). Egg laid in late Mar or early Apr, downy nestling on 21st Mar, and young fed in nest in Apr. One... read more


Evidently wanders widely, varying temporarily from common to rare in any one locality. Recent... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Central American Caribbean Slope EBA. Little information on numbers, but population undoubtedly reduced by... read more

Recommended citation

Snow, D. (2019). Snowy Cotinga (Carpodectes nitidus). 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 9 December 2019).