P.L. Sclater, 1860
The giant conebill (Oreomanes fraseri) is a small passerine bird, one of the tanager family. The only member of the genus Oreomanes it is closely related to the regular conebills Conirostrum though it differs in its larger size and nuthatch-like foraging habits.
The giant conebill is 15 centimetres (5.9 in) in length and weighs 22–27 grams (0.78–0.95 oz). It is grey above, deep chestnut below, and with a white patch on the cheeks. It is found in the Andes from Colombia to Ecuador, and Peru to Bolivia. It lives in Polylepis trees of the family Rosaceae.
The giant conebill lives individually or in groups of 5 or less. It peels bark off Polylepis trees to find insects. It also eats aphids and sugary solutions secreted by Gynoxys. The species is a seasonal breeder, nesting at the start of the rainy season (September to December in Bolivia where it has been studied). The nest is an open cup set on the branches of Polylepis, and the average clutch size is 1.8 eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs, feed the chicks and remove the faecal sacs.
Its decline is attributed to the destruction and fragmentation of Polylepis woodland.
The binomial commemorates the British zoologist Louis Fraser.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Oreomanes fraseri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Cahill, J; E. Matthysen; N. E. Huanca (2008). "Nesting biology of the Giant Conebill (Oreomanes fraseri) in the High Andes of Bolivia". Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 120 (3): 545–549. doi:10.1676/07-066.1.
- BirdLife Species Factsheet
- Mason, N. A. and K. J. Burns. 2010 .Giant Conebill (Oreomanes fraseri), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=589196
- Ridgely, R. S., & G. Tudor. 1989. The birds of South America, vol. 1. Univ. Texas Press, Austin.
- Schulenberg, T. S. 1985. An intergeneric hybrid conebill (Conirostrum X Oreomanes) from Peru. pp. 390–395 in "Neotropical Ornithology" (P. A. Buckley et al., eds.), Ornithol. Monogr. No. 36.
- Zimmer, J. 1942d. Studies of Peruvian birds, No. 43. Notes on The genera Dacnis, Xenodacnis, Coereba, Conirostrum, and Oreomanes. 1193: 1-16.
- Bartley, G. (2009). Photo of the Giant Conebill.
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