The slaty flowerpiercer, Diglossa plumbea, is a passerine bird which is endemic to the highlands of Costa Rica and western Panama.

This is a common bird in mountain forest canopy and edges, and especially in sunlit clearings and areas with flowering shrubs, which can include gardens. The lower altitudinal limit of its breeding range increases from 1200 m in the north of Costa Rica to 1900 m in the southern mountains. It is found well above the timberline in páramo habitat.

The large cup nest, built by the female, is made of coarse plant material and lined with fine fibres. It is placed 0.4 to 4 m up in a dense shrub, grass tussock or pine. The clutch is two brown-speckled pale blue eggs, which are incubated by the female alone for 12–14 days to hatching.

The slaty flowerpiercer has an upturned bill with a hooked upper mandible and pointed lower mandible. It is 10 cm long and weighs 9 g. The adult male is blue-grey with a lead-grey throat and breast. The tail and wings are blackish with grey feather edges. The female is olive-brown above with a paler throat and breast shading to buff on the belly. Young birds are like the female but have two tawny wing bars and faintly streaked buff-yellow underparts.

The slaty flowerpiercer has a thin tsip call. The male’s song consists of a mixture of whistles, warbles and trilled notes, see-chew see-chew see-chew seer seer surrzeep, tsee tsew tsink tsink tsink.

As its name implies, the slaty flowerpiercer pierces the base of the flowers of shrubs and epiphytes with its bill and extracts the nectar through the hole with a brush-like tongue. It also feeds on tiny insects taken from foliage or in flight. It is attacked by territorial hummingbirds defending their feeding areas, and then retreats to dense cover.

Slaty Flowerpiercer
Date Location Count
2019-10-19 11:15Reserva Santa Elena1
2019-10-19 05:09NP Juan Castro Blanco--Albergue Pozo Verde1
2019-10-11 07:26Jardines El Rey De Cocora1
2019-10-13 06:45Sendero Rey de Cocora1
2019-10-19 06:35Poasito5
2019-10-14 09:30Poasito--Freddo Fresas1
2019-10-19 13:34Road to PN Volcán Poás2
2019-10-16 09:30PN Braulio Carrillo--Volcán Barva1
2019-10-09 07:31Monserrat de Coronado2
2019-10-17 09:30Volcán Turrialba--El Tapojo4
2019-10-19 13:05Museo Volcán Irazú to PN Volcán Irazú4
2019-10-18 07:46Prusia2
2019-10-12 09:30Hotel Quelitales1
2019-10-14 07:20Finca Los Robles Mimosos2
2019-10-19 08:52Paraiso Quetzal Lodge - Km 703
2019-10-11 12:06Savegre Valley--Miriam's Restaurant2
2019-10-11 05:16La Georgina6
2019-10-11 09:10San Gerardo de Dota--Sueños del Bosque Lodge2
2019-10-14 09:28San Gerardo de Dota--Suria Lodge1
2019-10-20 06:00San Gerardo de Dota--Sendero Catarata1
2019-10-16 07:00PN Chirripó4
2019-10-10 11:53Guadalupe--Cabañas Los Quetzales (upper cabins)1
2019-10-16 17:27Boquete Tree Trek1
2019-10-19 15:00PN Volcán Barú--Sendero Paso Ancho1