Cinereous Conebill Conirostrum cinereum

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Andrea N. Chavez

Diet and Foraging


Cinereous Conebill primarily consumes insects, but sometimes vegetation and seeds (Museum of Southwestern Biology specimen label data, and Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990), and also opportunistically takes nectar (Vogt 2006).

Foraging Behavior

Fjeldså and Krabbe (1990) describe Cinereous Conebill as foraging among bush tops and the leaves at the tips of otherwise naked branches, and that it is agile, frequently hanging and occasionally probing moss and flowers, or making short sallies. Lloyd (2008) classified this species as an arboreal foliage gleaner, and observed it feeding principally on the outermost edges of Polylepis trees using mostly hang-up and hang-down prey attack maneuvers. This species also was classified as forest-dependent in Polylepis habitat (Lloyd and Marsden 2008). These studies were conducted in the high-Andes of the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru, and therefore refer to nominate cinereum. Observations of secondary nectar robbing have also been recorded, in which Cinereous Conebill forages for nectar using holes made by Flowerpiercers at the base of corollas. These observations refer to subspecies fraseri, in Quito, Ecuador at 2850 m elevation (Vogt 2006).

Recommended Citation

Chavez, A. N. (2018). Cinereous Conebill (Conirostrum cinereum), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.