Rufous-capped Thornbill (Chalcostigma ruficeps)

Order: Apodiformes  | Family: Trochilidae IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult | Sex: Male | Loc. Manu Road, Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Female | Loc. Amazonas, Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Male | Loc. Machu Picchu, Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Female | Loc. Chapare, Bolivia

Identification & Behavior: ~10 cm (4 in). The male Rufous-capped Thornbill has green upperparts. It has a rufous cap, iridescent green gorget, and greenish-brown rest of the underparts. The tail in the male is dusky, forked, and relatively long. The female is green above and grayish-green below without a rufous cap. The tail is dusky brown, slightly notched without pale or whitish tips. The bill in both sexes in black and straight. The female is similar to a female Tyrian Metaltail but is distinguished by uniform underparts with little to no specks, and no buffy on the throat and breast. Also see, Scaled Metaltail.

Status: The Rufous-capped Thornbill is uncommon in humid montane forests and scrub on the east slope and the northern humid portion of the west slope of the Andes, generally at elevations ranging between 1800-2800 m. It also occurs in Ec and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Pico-Espina de Gorro Rufo.

Sub-species: Rufous-capped Thornbill (Chalcostigma ruficeps), Gould, 1846.

Meaning of Name: Chalcostigma: Gr. Khalkos=  bronze, copper and stigma, stigmatos=  mark, to tattoo. ruficeps: L. rufus=  red, ruddy and ceps, capitis, caput= headed, head.

See more of the Family Trochilidae   peru aves

Distribution Map


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 08/01/2015.