Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Olivaceous Thornbill Chalcostigma olivaceum

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Trochilidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Thomas S. Schulenberg and Carolyn W. Sedgwick

This large, short-billed hummingbird is sooty overall. Olivaceous Thornbills frequently forage on the ground in short grasslands, visiting small flowers or waiting to launch off the ground to catch flying insects. Olivaceous Thornbills live in humid puna grasslands, in areas with cushion plants, and occasionally in montane scrub. Olivaceous Thornbill is widespread but uncommon, and its biology is poorly known.

Audio needed
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. and C. W. Sedgwick (2013). Olivaceous Thornbill (Chalcostigma olivaceum), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.