White-throated Flowerpecker Dicaeum vincens


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a small range within which habitat is continuing to deteriorate in extent and quality. However, the range is not yet severely fragmented or restricted to few locations. For these reasons, the species is classified as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common below 900 m (Cheke et al. 2001), and locally common up to 1,100 m (Goodale et al. 2014).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

Distribution and population

This species is endemic to Sri Lanka, where it is confined to the wet zone in the south-west of the island, with a few records from the intermediate zone. During a 2007-2009 survey across the wet and montane zones of the country, the species was detected on 155 occurrences (Goodale et al. 2014). Although it remains locally common and survives in many forest blocks it probably has a declining, increasingly fragmented population of several tens of thousands of individuals. 


It is mainly confined to lowland and foothill tall, moist forest up to 1,800 m (Goodale et al. 2014), being much rarer at higher elevations than this. It frequents tall trees and creepers (Cheke and Mann 2020). In mature forests, it tends to be a canopy species although it will come to the understory occasionally for fruits (such as the invasive Climedia hirta; E. Goodale in litt. 2020). It has recently been recorded from disturbed sites close to primary forest, such as home gardens and plantations, probably because of the abundance of fruiting and flowering shrubs, on which it feeds in such secondary habitats. Observations of birds crossing large forest openings and gaps between forest patches suggest it may be able to move between forest blocks.


The main threat is the extensive clearance and degradation of forests, particularly in the wet zone, through logging, fuelwood collection, conversion to agriculture and tree plantations, gem mining, settlement and fire. Some protected forests continue to be degraded and suffer further fragmentation.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It is legally protected in Sri Lanka. A moratorium was passed in 1990 to protect wet zone forests from logging. It occurs in several national parks and forest reserves, most notably Sinharaja National Heritage Wilderness Area and Peak Wilderness Area. A survey of the biodiversity of 200 forest sites was carried out from 1991-1996.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out a comprehensive survey in order to clarify its distribution and status and to produce management recommendations for this species in conservation forests and other protected areas. Research its ecology, particularly the effects of forest fragmentation on its population and distribution. Encourage protection of remaining important areas of forest holding this and other threatened species, including proposals to designate conservation forests, and ensure their effective management. Maintain the current ban on the logging of wet zone forests. Promote programmes to create awareness of the value of biological resources amongst local communities.


10 cm. A stout-billed flowerpecker. Male has bluish-black upperparts, white throat, upper breast and undertail-coverts, yellow lower breast and belly, and white tips to outer tail feathers. Female has blue-grey crown, ear-coverts and nape, becoming dark olive on mantle and back. Juvenile resembles female but duller with olive-brown upperparts, olive-yellow rump and centre to belly. Voice Call a harsh dzit. Song a high-pitched, metallic ptit ptit ptit ptit tsi or tit tit tit tit tit tit and also a high, thin, rapid psee-psee-psee-psee-psee-psee-psee.


Text account compilers
Fernando, E.

Benstead, P., Bird, J., Goodale, E. & Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Dicaeum vincens. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/03/2023.