skip to content

Snowornis cryptolophus

Olivaceous Piha

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Cotingidae
  • Polytypic 2 Subspecies

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Guy M. Kirwan

Snowornis cryptolophus

El Cairo, Valle del Cauca, Colombia; 1 December 2010 © Dave Curtis

Olivaceous Piha is rather more widespread than its sole congeneric, the Gray-tailed Piha (Snowornis subalaris). These two species were, until comparatively recently, considered part of the larger and more widespread genus Lipaugus. Although there is considerable overlap in these two species’ geographical ranges on the east slope of the Andes, Olivaceous Piha generally replaces the Gray-tailed Piha at higher elevations. To date, the two Snowornis pihas have been found at very few sites in sympatry (and always at different elevations). However, our lack of knowledge of many aspects of this species’ ecology, in particular its voice, means that it is considerably harder to observe than its congener. Only recently has the breeding biology of Olivaceous Piha become known, based on observations in northwest Ecuador; the species builds an open-cup nest and lays a single egg.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Guy M. Kirwan. 2012. Olivaceous Piha (Snowornis cryptolophus), 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:Midstory
  • Foraging Behavior:Sally
  • Diet:Fruit
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:Unknown
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: 1 - 1
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern