Masked Flowerpiercer Diglossa cyanea

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 5 subspecies
  • Authors: Steven Byrum, Erik R. Funk, Casey H. Richart, and Kevin J. Burns


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Masked Flowerpiercer
eBird range map for Masked Flowerpiercer

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Masked Flowerpiercers occur in montane regions in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Two subspecies occur in Venezuela: D. c. tovarensis is found in the coastal range in Aragua and Distrito Federal, and D. c. obscura is found in the Perija mountains (Isler and Isler 1987). Three other subspecies (cyanea, dispar, and melanopis) occur in the Andes from Trujillo, Venezuela through all three Andean ranges in Colombia, Ecuador, the western range of Peru south to Cajamarca, and, on the east slope of the Andes, south to Bolivia in western Santa Cruz (Isler and Isler 1987).

Masked Flowerpiercer usually is considered to be resident, but in Venezuela groups of up to 30 flowerpiercers have been observed moving upslope together, suggesting periodic movements that have yet to be closely studied (Hilty 2011). Data in Merkord (2010) suggests that at least some Masked Flowerpiercers are elevational migrants in Peru during the dry and early wet season, though Merkord (2010) still recorded this species as having a resident migration status.

Masked Flowerpiercer usually occurs between 1800 m and 3600 m, though also it sometimes is found as low as ca 1500 m (Isler and Isler 1987). The center of elevational abundance is in the upper montane zone (Parker et al. 1996). This species occurs in the following zoographic regions: Central Andes and Northern Andes (Parker et al. 1996).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to South America


The primary habitat of Masked Flowerpiercer is montane evergreen forest (Parker et al. 1996). In addition, it can also be found in elfin forest (Parker et al. 1996). Other habitats described for this species include secondary growth and scattered trees and bushes (Isler and Isler 1987). This species tends to occupy the middle and top levels of trees, as well as low shrubs and bushes (Hilty 2011).

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Byrum, S., E. R. Funk, C. H. Richart, and K. J. Burns (2017). Masked Flowerpiercer (Diglossa cyanea), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.