Tolima Blossomcrown Anthocephala berlepschi


Justification of Red List Category
This newly-split species has a small population, which is thought to be declining due to the loss and conversion of its habitat. It is therefore listed as Vulnerable.

Population justification
Tolima Blossomcrown is described as rare (Renjifo et al. 2016, Züchner et al. 2019). It is tentatively estimated to have a population size between 1,000 and 4,500 mature individuals, based on the population estimate of Blossomcrown before the taxonomic split into Santa Marta Blossomcrown and Tolima Blossomcrown.

Trend justification
While the threats this species faces may be causing population declines, there is no clear evidence of the rate of decline.

Distribution and population

Anthocephala berlepschi occurs in central Colombia (Hilty and Brown 1986). It is found in the central Andes on Volcán Tolima in Quindío and Tolima, with one record in 1976 south on the east slope to Huila (Hilty and Brown 1986; J. E. Orejuela in litt. 1986; P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999).


Tolima Blossomcrown is found in the Central Andes at altitudes of 1,200-2,300 m. It inhabits humid premontane forests, but is also found in old secondary growth and occasionally even in coffee plantations and along roads or field edges (Hilty and Brown 1986, Renjifo et al. 2016). 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 occurs in September-October (Hilty and Brown 1986).


The species is threatened by forest loss, as it does not tolerate heavily converted habitats (Züchner et al. 2019). Agriculture has long dominated parts of the east slope of the Central Andes (Stiles et al. 1999). Since the 1950s, much of the original habitat in the higher side-valleys has been cleared and used for coffee, sugarcane and banana plantations, as well as for cultivations of potatoes and beans and cattle-grazing (B. López-Lanús et alin 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 (B. López-Lanús et alin litt.; P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999). In Tolima, hydroelectricity projects have led to habitat destruction and fragmentation (Rico-Guevara et al. 2016). However, recent rates of deforestation in the area are very low (per Tracewski et al. 2016).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

CITES Appendix II. It occurs in the following protected areas: Alto Quindío-Acaime Nature Reserve, Los Nevados National Park, Cueva de los Guácharos National Park, Meremberg Nature Reserve, Roncesvalles Community Reserves and Ibanasca Nature Reserve (J. E. Orejuela in litt. 1986, Strewe and Navarro 2004, Rico-Guevara et al. 2016, Züchner et al. 2019). It is listed as nationally Vulnerable in Colombia (Renjifo et al. 2016).

Conservation Actions Proposed

Assess the species's population, distribution and ecological requirements (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999). Designate more protected areas, for example at the following AICAs: Cañón del Río Combeima, Cuenca del Rio Toche and Valle de San Salvador (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1998, 1999, Rico-Guevara et al. 2016). Create management plans to conserve the species (Rico-Guevara et al. 2016). Improve habitat connectivity and give protection to rural buffer zones around forest fragments (Rico-Guevara et al. 2016).


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.


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

Fjeldså, J., Kirwan, G.M., López-Lanús, B., Olarte, L.G., Orejuela, J.E., Pearman, M., Renjifo, L.M. & Salaman, P.G.W.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Anthocephala berlepschi. Downloaded from on 11/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 11/08/2022.