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Plushcap - BirdForum Opus

Nominate subspecies
Photo by Robert Scanlon
Rio Blanco, Manizales, Colombia, February 2009

Alternative name: Plush-capped Finch

Catamblyrhynchus diadema


Subspecies citrinifrons
Photo by Stanley Jones
Northeast end of Carpish Tunnel, Huánuco, Peru,August 2017

14cm (5½ in). A distinctive species.

  • Yellow forehead with stiff and plushy feathers
  • Blackish hindcrown and nape
  • Dusky lores
  • Bluish-grey upperparts and tail
  • Chestnut side of head, throat and underparts
  • Stubby bill

Sexes similar. Juveniles are very dull with dark grey forehead and forecrown and olive-greyish upperparts


Found in the Andes of South America from Venezuela and Colombia south to Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and northwest Argentina.
Uncommon to locally fairly common.


In spite of the name, it is a member of the Tanager family (Thraupidae).


Three subspecies recorded[1]:


Wet montane forest, second growth and elfin forest at or near tree-line. Mainly around Chusquea bamboo.
Occurs from 1800 to 3500m.



Feeds mostly on small insects and other arthropods. Takes probably some plant material.
A quite and inconspicuous species. Usually seen singly or in small groups, sometimes joining mixed-species flocks.

Forages mainly in lower half of forest, primarly in dense bamboo.


Various breeding reports suggest breeding mainly in the west season. No other information on breeding.


Apparently a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2011. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 16: Tanagers to New World Blackbirds. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553781

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