Turquoise Dacnis Dacnis hartlaubi

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Holly McMullen, Casey H. Richart, and Kevin J. Burns


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Turquoise Dacnis
eBird range map for Turquoise Dacnis

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

Distribution in the Americas

Turquoise Dacnis occurs in the Northern Andes Zoogeographic Region, where it is endemic to Colombia. As recently as the middle of the 20th century, it was known from less than 10 specimens, only one of which was associated with a specific locality (Hellmayr 1936, Meyer de Schauensee 1951). Currently it is known from six sites on the Pacific slope (Dagua Valley) and adjacent eastern slope of the Western Cordillera (Bosque Yotoco), all in Valle del Cauca (Meyer de Schauensee 1951, Carriker 1955, Collar et al. 1992); on the western slope of the Central Cordillera near Calarcá (Collar et al. 1992); and from a cluster of clustered sites on the western slope of the Eastern Cordillera in Antioquia, Boyacá, and Cundinamarca (Hilty and Brown 1986, Collar et al. 1992, Stiles et al. 1999, BirdLife International 2000, Botero and Verhelst 2001, Cortés Herrera et al. 2014). It is most readily found in Laguna de Pedro Palo, a lagoon near Chicaque Natural Park (Calderón-Franco 2011). The population here is considered abundant relative to other areas such as Serrania de las Quinchas, a protected reserve within Magdalena Valley (Stiles 1999, Quevedo et al. 2006).

Turquoise Dacnis is reported from a surprisingly broad elevational range (Chaparro-Herrera et al. 2013), although the center of elevational abundance is in the middle montane zone (Parker et al. 1996), with populations concentrated at elevations between 1300-2200 m (Munves 1975, Stiles and Bohórquez 2000, Botero and Verhelst 2001, Kattan et al. 2006). It also has been observed as low as 300-1799 m near the foothills along the Río Dagua, Valle del Cuaca, and along the Pacific slope (Meyer de Schauensee 1952), at about 1500 m in Quindío, and from 1700-2200 m in Cundinamarca (Isler and Isler 1987), and even as high as 2845 m (Botero and Verhelst 2001).

Distribution outside the Americas

Turquoise Dacnis is endemic to Colombia (Meyer de Schauensee 1964, Dickinson and Christidis 2014, Clements et al. 2015).


Parker et al. (1996) list the primary habitat of Turquoise Dacnis as montane evergreen forest, typically at edges, with secondary forests as a secondary habitat. Within these habitats it tends to occur in the canopy (Parker et al. 1996). The primary habitat includes humid forests with an abundance of epiphytes and cloud forests (Stiles and Bohórquez 2000, Herrera et al. 2002). In secondary forests it is associated with Inga and Cordia allidora (Botero and Verhelst 2001). It also is associated with dense foliage along the edges of forests and open areas (Isler and Isler 1987, Renjifo 1999, Stiles and Bohórquez 2000, Botero and Verhelst 2001). It can occur in fragmented habitats (Kattan et al. 2006). It occasionally uses shade-grown coffee plantations, particularly when these plantations are adjacent forests and perhaps when Cedrela is a shade tree (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Botero and Verhelst 2001, McDermott and Rodewald 2014). In two of the shade-grown coffee plantations where this species has been observed, canopy cover was 48.3% and 68.6% (Botero and Verhelst 2001). Within all habitats they are most often observed in the upper canopy or along dense edges (Hilty 1985, Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Stiles et al. 1999).

Historical changes

Turquoise Dacnis has very likely disappeared from areas where it was historically reported due to habitat loss (Hilty 2011).

Fossil history

There are no known fossils of this species.

Recommended Citation

McMullen, H., C. H. Richart, and K. J. Burns (2018). Turquoise Dacnis (Dacnis hartlaubi), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.turdac1.01