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Yellow-headed Manakin Xenopipo flavicapilla

This species has been uplisted to Vulnerable owing to its small population which is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly due to habitat loss.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Chloropipo flavicapilla BirdLife International (2004), Chloropipo flavicapilla BirdLife International (2000), Chloropipo flavicapilla Collar et al. (1994), Chloropipo flavicapilla Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Chloropipo flavicapilla Stotz et al. (1996)

12-13 cm manakin. Male has golden-yellow crown and nape. Upperparts bright olive. Face, throat and breast paler and yellower, belly pale yellow. Under-wing-coverts white. Iris pale orange-red. Upper mandible blackish, lower mandible paler bluish-grey. Legs grey. Female similar to male but less yellow and with duller head and breast. Juvenile similar to female but duller (Snow and Kirwan 2013). Voice Not recorded but apparently generally silent (Snow and Kirwan 2013).

Distribution and population
The species is locally distributed in south-west Colombia, where it is known from both slopes of the West Andes, in Cauca and Valle del Cauca, the west slope of the north Central Andes in Antioquia, and at the head of the río Magdalena valley in Huila (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). It also occurs on the east slope of the Andes in west Napo and, at least formerly, Tungurahua, Ecuador (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). It is patchily distributed and rare to uncommon in suitable habitat (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). There are relatively few recent records, though it is very inconspicuous and perhaps overlooked (Ridgely and Tudor 1994).

Population justification
The population is preliminarily estimated to number at least 10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 6,700 mature individuals. This requires confirmation. Fieldwork in Cañón del río Barbas y Bremen IBA calculated a density of 0.013 individuals/ha (O. H. Marín-Gómez in litt. 2012).

Trend justification
A moderately rapid and on-going decline is suspected owing to habitat loss. The level of habitat fragmentation within the species's range has been described as severe (O. Cortes in litt. 2009). Fieldwork confirms that the species is in decline and that it may be disappearing from some localities (Castaño-Villa and Patiño-Zabala 2008, O. Cortes in litt. 2009). It has also been noted that the species occupies an altitudinal range in which the rate of deforestation is high (O. Cortes in litt. 2009).

It is confined to the lower growth of montane forest and mature secondary woodland (Ridgely and Tudor 1994) from 1,200 to 2,400 m. It is found 1-8 m up in vegetation, occasionally associating with mixed-species flocks (Hilty and Brown 1986). It feeds on fruits including those of the Palicourea genus (Snow and Kirwan 2013).

Much of its range is within prime agricultural land, some of which has already been cleared, and the rest is probably threatened (Ridgely and Tudor 1994).

Conservation and Research Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation and Research Actions Proposed
Effectively protect and manage protected areas where the species occurs. Monitor population at strongholds and search for the species in potentially suitable habitat at new sites.  Research sub-population structure, rate of decline and threats. Study its ecology and its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats. Use GIS habitat loss data to produce estimate of declines.

Castaño-Villa, G. J.; Patiño-Zabala, J. C. 2008. Extinciones locales de aves en fragmentos de bosque en la región de Santa Elena, Andes Centrales, Colombia. El Hornero 23: 23-34.

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

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Ridgely, R. S.; Tudor, G. 1994. The birds of South America. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.

Snow, D. and Kirwan, G.M. 2013. Yellow-headed Manakin (Chloropipo flavicapilla). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

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

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Isherwood, I., O'Brien, A., Pilgrim, J., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Ashpole, J

Cortés, O. & Marín, O.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Xenopipo flavicapilla. Downloaded from on 27/11/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/11/2015.

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.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Pipridae (Manakins)
Species name author (Sclater, 1852)
Population size 6700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 32,700 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species