Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)


Tamarugo Conebill (Conirostrum tamarugense)


French: Conirostre des tamarugos German: Rotstirn-Spitzschnabel Spanish: Conirrostro de tamarugal

Conirostrum tamarugensis

[sic] A. W. Johnson and Millie

, 1972,

in the northern area of the recently developed Tamarugo plantations which extend on either side of the Panamerican Highway in Lat. 20°30’ [S], Tarapacá, Chile


Well differentiated genetically from other Conirostrum, and sister to a clade containing C. rufum and C. cinereum (with C. fraseri)#R. Original spelling of species name incorrectly formed and required emendation#R. Monotypic.


Arid highlands of N Chile (S, patchily, to San Pedro de Atacama in Antofagasta#R); non-breeding also N to SW Peru (Arequipa).

Descriptive notes

12·5 cm; two females from Chile each 10·5 g. Small greyish-and-rufous conebill with thin, sharply pointed bill. Male is dark grey above, with short bright rufous supercilium... read more


Song resembles that of C. cinereum, a fast, buzzy jumble of squeaks lasting c. 1 second,... read more


Patches of sparse, low, scrubby woodland, especially Polylepis trees, also in Gynoxys... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly known. Diet includes caterpillars, especially those of lycaenid butterfly Leptotes trigemmatus. Forages in pairs and small... read more


Season at least Sept–Dec, coinciding with seasonal blooming of tamarugo flowers (which provide food for Leptotes trigemmatus... read more


Migratory. Following breeding (in Chile), migrates N to SW Peru, where apparently reported between... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Peru-Chile Pacific slope EBA. Locally common breeder in Chile; locally fairly common non-breeding visitor in Peru, where seen... read more

Recommended citation

Hilty, S. (2019). Tamarugo Conebill (Conirostrum tamarugense). 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 14 December 2019).