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Blossomcrown Anthocephala floriceps

This species is classified as Vulnerable because it is known from few locations within a small range in which habitat is declining and population and range are presumably contracting. It is considered Vulnerable in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2002).

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

8.4 cm. Short-billed hummingbird, with white and chestnut crown. Short, straight black bill. Male has buffy-white forecrown. Rufous-chestnut hindcrown. Shining green above with white postocular streak. Greyish-buff underparts. Bronzy-green central tail-feathers, rest with broad, dusky subterminal band and white or buff tips. Female similar with brownish crown. Similar spp. Many hummingbirds with pollen dusted foreheads appear similar. Female like Speckled Hummingbird Adelomyia melanogenys but lacks black cheeks and white postocular streak. Voice Persistent chip at leks.

Distribution and population
Anthocephala floriceps has a disjunct range in central and north-east Colombia (Hilty and Brown 1986). The nominate subspecies occurs on the north and south-east slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where it has recently been found to remain common (G. M. Kirwan in litt 1998, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999). Subspecies berlepschi is found in the Central Andes on Volcán Tolima in Quindío and Tolima, and south on the east slope to Huila (one record in 1976) (Hilty and Brown 1986, J. E. Orejuela in litt. 1986, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999).

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 2,500-9,999 individuals. This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be declining slowly, owing to habitat loss and fragmentation.

It is found in premontane evergreen forest and secondary growth in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta at 600-1,700 m (mostly 1,200-1,600 m), and in the Central Andes at 1,200-2,300 m altitude (Hilty and Brown 1986). It is usually seen in the forest understorey or in secondary scrub along roads and field edges, but males gather in small song-leks within closed-canopy forest (Hilty and Brown 1986, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999). Breeding apparently occurs in September-October (Hilty and Brown 1986).

Only 15% of the original vegetation in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta remains (L. M. Renjifo in litt. 1993 and verbally 2000). The main threat is the conversion of forest to marijuana and coca plantations (L. G. Olarte in litt. 1993, L. M. Renjifo in litt. 1993 and verbally 2000, J. Fjeldså verbally 2000), which, at least in the past, was compounded by the Colombian authorities spraying these slopes with herbicides (L. G. Olarte in litt. 1993, L. M. Renjifo in litt. 1993 and verbally 2000). From the 1950s onwards, immigration to the area has been considerable, and agricultural expansion (e.g. coffee and livestock), logging, burning and afforestation with exotic trees, e.g. pines (Dinerstein et al 1995, L. G. Olarte and M. Pearman per P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999 and verbally 2000, Salazar and Strewe undated), have caused extensive forest loss. Agriculture has long dominated parts of the east slope of the Central Andes (Stiles et al. 1999), and since the 1950s, much of the original habitat in the higher side-valleys has been cleared and used for coffee, sugarcane and banana plantations, potatos, beans and cattle-grazing (López-Lanús et al. in litt., P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999). Mature secondary forest patches are scattered and natural vegetation cover has been reduced by c.85% between 1,900 and 3,200 m altitude (López-Lanús et al. in litt., P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. It occurs in the very small Alto Quindío-Acaime Nature Reserve(J. E. Orejuela in litt. 1986). The protective designations in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta have been ineffective.Conservation Actions Proposed
Assess the population, distribution and ecological requirements of subspecies berlepschi (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999), and confirm its persistence in Huila (T. Züchner in litt. 1999). Designate protected areas in the Central Andes (T. Züchner in litt. 1999), e.g. in the Toche valley (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999).

Dinerstein, E.; Olson, D. M.; Graham, D. J.; Webster, A. L.; Primm, S. A.; Bookbinder, M. P.; Ledec, G. 1995. A conservation assesssment of the terrestrial ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Hilty, S. L.; Brown, W. L. 1986. A guide to the birds of Colombia. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Lopez-Lanus, B., Laverde, O., Omena, R. and Olarte, L.G. 2009. Lack of evidence for the presence of macaws of the Anodorhynchus genus in the Colombian-Brazilian river basin of the Vaupes. Hornero 24(1): 37-41.

Renjifo, L. M.; Franco-Maya, A. M.; Amaya-Espinel, J. D.; Kattan, G. H.; López-Lans, B. 2002. Libro rojo de aves de Colombia. Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt y Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Bogot, Colombia.

Salazar, F.; Strewe, R. undated. Ornithological research and conservation initiatives on the northern slope of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia.

Stiles, F. G.; Rosselli, L.; Bohórquez, C. I. 1999. New and noteworthy records of birds from the middle Magdalena valley of Colombia. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 119: 113-129.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Stuart, T., Symes, A.

Fjeldså, J., Kirwan, G., Olarte, L., Orejuela, J., Pearman, M., Renjifo, L., Salaman, P., Züchner, T.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Anthocephala floriceps. Downloaded from on 28/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/07/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

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To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Blossomcrown (Anthocephala floriceps) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
Species name author (Gould, 1854)
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 10,100 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species