Conirostrum bicolor 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Thraupidae

Scientific Name: Conirostrum bicolor
Species Authority: (Vieillot, 1809)
Common Name(s):
English Bicoloured Conebill, Bicolored Conebill
Taxonomic Source(s): SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Taxonomic Notes: Two subspecies: C. b. bicolor (Vieillot, 1809) associated with coastal habitats especially mangroves; and C. b. minus (Hellmayr, 1935) found in younger successional stages of Amazonian river islands. May consistute two separate taxa.
Identification information: 11.4cm, 10.5-11g. Dull bluish-grey conebill with a thin curved bill. C. b. bicolor has upperparts dull blue-grey and underparts dingy pale greyish-buff, with the throat and lower underparts palest. Iris is a dull orange-red to dark red. C. b. minus is similar but is slightly smaller and shows a rufescent tinge to the ear coverts and underparts, especially the undertail coverts. Similar spp. Pearly-breasted Conebill C. margaritae is very similar, but lacks the buff tones on the underparts of C. bicolor and is slightly paler, almost faded grey on the upperparts. Voice Variably complex series of squeaky, high-pitched phrases repeated in a somewhat jerky and sputtering manner. Always slower and shorter than songs of C. margaritae. Soft foraging calls include a high, sibilant "tsiik".

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Symes, A.

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, it is suspected that the population of this species will decline by 25-30% over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Near Threatened.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: C. b. bicolor Coastal from N Colombia E along coast, including Margareta Island and Trinidad, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname and locally along the Brazil coast to Sao Paulo. Also locally along the Rio Branco in Brazil
C. b. minus in shrubby younger successional stages of vegetation on river islands and riverbanks of the River Amazon, and a few major tributaries in NE Peru, SE Colombia and Brazil, possibly to the mouth of the Amazon.
Countries occurrence:
Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 559000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'fairly common' (Stotz et al. (1996).

Trend Justification:  This species is suspected to lose 28.4-29.7% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (11 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It is therefore suspected to decline by a rate approaching 30% over three generations.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: Unknown Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: C. b. bicolor is closely associated with mangroves even if occasionally seen in adjacent low flooded forest. Occurs in pairs or small family parties and not associated with mixed-species flocks. May be competitively excluded by or exclude the resident individuals of Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia) in mangroves, apparently the two species do not occur together. Typically in mid to upper levels of foliage foraging for small arthropods amongst leaf clusters. Breeds between February and May in N Colombia. The nest is a deep cup of grass mixed with feathers 0.3-4m up in mangrove, clutch of 2 eggs. In Trinidad often parasitized by Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis. 
C. b. minus gleans for small arthropods in foliage on river islands and may investigate damaged Cecropia leaves.
Apparently resident.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 3.7
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Projected deforestation is the primary threat affecting this species (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011); destruction of mangrove outside of protected areas is the most significant threat for C. b. bicolor, whereas the rather ephemeral river island habitat of C. b. minus may be at relatively low risk of significant habitat destruction. Proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code reduce the percentage of land a private landowner is legally required to maintain as forest (including, critically, a reduction in the width of forest buffers alongside perennial steams) and include an amnesty for landowners who deforested before July 2008 (who would subsequently be absolved of the need to reforest illegally cleared land) (Bird et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway

In Colombia C. b. bicolor occurs in Salamanca National Park and probably Corales del Rosario National Park. In Venezuela the species occurs in Morrocoy National Park and in Suriname at Wia-Wia and Galibi National Parks.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Conirostrum bicolor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22722089A40021126. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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