Saffron-crowned Tanager (Tangara xanthocephala)

Order: Passeriformes Family: Thraupidae | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Aguas Calientes, Cuzco

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Amazonas, Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Manu Road, Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Manu Road, Peru

Identification & Behavior: ~13.5 cm (5.2 in). The Saffron-crowned Tanager is mostly opalescent green with black streaks on the upperparts. It has an entirely yellow head (venusta) of yellow with an orange crown (lomprotis). The throat and back of the neck are black. The center of the belly, vent, and undertail coverts are rich buff. Both sexes are similar. It forages in a variety of habitat including semi-open second growth and forest canopy. It is similar to the Flame-faced Tanager but is distinguished by having opalescent green upperparts (black in Flame-faced Tanager) with black streaks and green underparts.

Status: The Saffron-crowned Tanager is common in montane forests and second growth of the east slope of the Andes at elevations ranging between 1000-2300 m. It also occurs in Co, Ec, and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Tangara de Corona Azafrán.

Sub-species: Saffron-crowned Tanager (Tangara xanthocephala venusta), (P. L. Sclater), 1855. Colombia (both slopes of W & C Andes, locally both slopes of E Andes, and Macarena Mts) and Ecuador (both slopes) S to N & C Peru (E slope of E Andes from Cajamarca S to N Pasco).
(Tangara xanthocephala xanthocephala), (Tschudi), 1844.  E slope of Andes in C Peru (Chanchamayo region).
(Tangara xanthocephala lamprotis), (P. L. Sclater), 1851.  E slope in SE Peru (Ayacucho and Cuzco) S to Bolivia (to W Santa Cruz).

Meaning of Name: Tangara: Tupí name, Tangara= dancer, one who turns and skips, originally used for the manakins, but subsequently (Marcgrave 1648) transferred to other bright finch-like birds.
xanthocephala: Gr. Xanthos= yellow, kephalos, kephale= headed, head.

See more of the Family Thraupidae   peru aves

Distribution Map


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 03/01/2016.