skip to content

Diglossa cyanea

Masked Flowerpiercer

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Emberizidae
  • Polytypic 5 Subspecies

Authors: Byrum, Steven, Erik R. Funk, Casey H. Richart, and Kevin J. Burns

Diglossa cyanea

Tapichalaca Reserve, EC; 22 March 2005 © Glenn Bartley

Masked Flowerpiercer is a common constituent of the Andean avifauna. It ranges from the coastal mountains of northern Venezuela south to northern Bolivia, principally at elevations above 2000 m, and it is generally found in humid montane forest and its borders, including those close to treeline. It is a sociable species, often being found in monospecific groups, sometimes up to 30 strong, but also within mixed-species flocks, e.g. with other flowerpiercers, tanagers, warblers, and others. Masked Flowerpiercer is a striking and easily recognized bird, characterized by its largely ultramarine plumage with a contrasting and rather large black facial mask and bright red irides. Masked Flowerpiercer usually is considered to be resident, but there are suggestions that it makes seasonal altitudinal movements or migrations, at least in parts of its range. This species is omnivorous, consuming fruit, nectar, and insects. Despite being widespread and common, shockingly little is known about the breeding biology of Masked Flowerpiercer.

Recommended Citation

Byrum, Steven, Erik R. Funk, Casey H. Richart, and Kevin J. Burns. 2016. Masked Flowerpiercer (Diglossa cyanea), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map provided by Robert S. Ridgely.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Montane evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:Glean
  • Diet:Omnivorous
  • Sociality:Mixed Flocks
  • Mating System:Unknown
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern