White-browed Conebill Conirostrum ferrugineiventre

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Thomas S. Schulenberg and Guy M. Kirwan


Distinguishing Characteristics

Conirostrum conebills are small warbler like birds with slender, pointed bills. The upperparts of White-browed Conebill are dark bluish gray, with a long broad white supercilium. The underparts are rufous, somewhat paler on the throat.

Similar Species

White-browed Conebill is distinctive within its range. Blue-backed Conebill (Conirostrum sitticolor) is the same size as White-browed Conebill, and the two species sometimes occur together; but Blue-backed is blue above, with a black throat, and lacks the white supercilium of White-browed. Chestnut-bellied Mountain-Tanager (Delothraupis castaneiventris) also occurs with White-browed Conebill, and also has rufous underparts, but the mountain-tanager is much larger and also lacks the white supercilium. Giant Conebill (Oreomanes fraseri) is larger than White-browed Conebill, has a white patch on the side of the face, and the supercilium is shorter and rufous, not white. Three-striped Hemispingus (Hemispingus trifasciatus) is slightly larger, is browner above, and is buffier, less rufous, below.

Detailed Description

The following description is based on Fjeldså and Krabbe (1990) and on Hilty (2011):

Adult: Sexes similar. Crown slaty. Back, rump, wings and tail blue gray. Supercilium white; lores and auriculars blackish, occasionally with paler streaks. Sometimes a submoustachial stripe. Lateral throat stripe slaty. Underparts rufous, paler on chin and upper throat.

Immature: Similar to adult, but tertials are distinctly edged with whitish; lateral throat stripe and the upperparts less blue, more gray. Crown dusky black. Supercilium buffy white; auriculars gray and more streaked with pale.

Juvenile: Has dusky feather tips on the back and breast.


Total length: 12 cm (Ridgely and Tudor 2009), 12.5 cm (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990)

Linear measurements (from Schulenberg 1985)

male (n = 10):

wing length (chord), mean 69.1 ± 2.0 mm (range 65.3-71.5 mm)

tail length, mean 53.0 ± 1.7 mm (range 50.5-55.4 mm)

bill length (from anterior edge of nostril), mean 7.3 ± 0.4 mm (range 6.8-7.8 mm)

tarsus length, mean 18.6 ± 0.5 mm (range 17.6-19.2 mm)

Mass: male, mean 11.5 g (n = 3, range 11.0-12.0 g; Schulenberg 1985); 13 g (n = 1, unsexed; Weske 1972); female, 11.5 g (n = 1; Parker and O'Neill 1980)

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. and G. M. Kirwan (2012). White-browed Conebill (Conirostrum ferrugineiventre), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whbcon1.01