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Buthraupis wetmorei

Masked Mountain-Tanager

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae




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Similar Species



According to Isler and Isler (1987) most tanager vocalizations are comprised of monotonic, high pitched, rapid squeaky notes, and Buthraupis wetmorei is no exception. Its song is a long persistent series of high-pitched tsee notes which varies in intensity. Its musical repertoire also consists of a subtle subsong, which is not as persistent as the song. The call note is a single high-pitched tsee which also can vary in intensity.
Additional audio recordings of vocalizations of Buthraupis wetmorei can be heard at Macaulay Library, Xeno-canto and The Internet Bird Collection(IBC).


Nonvocal Sounds

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Detailed Description (appearance)

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Bare Parts

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Geographic Variation

Buthraupis wetmorei is monotypic (no variation or subspecies) (Isler and Isler 1987, Clements et al. 2013).


The Masked Mountain-Tanager (Buthraupis wetmorei) was originally placed in its own genus, Tephrophilus, when first described (Moore 1934). Subsequently the genus Tephrophilus was combined with Buthraupis, but a more recent study has determined Buthraupis to be a non-monophyletic group and the Masked Mountain-Tanager to be distantly related to the other species of Buthraupis (Sedano and Burns 2010). In an effort to make the taxonomy reflect monophyletic groups, it has been suggested to move the Masked Mountain-Tanager back to its original genus Tephrophilus (Burns et al. 2014).

Molecular phylogenetics has consistently recovered this species in an Andean clade including the genera Anisognathus, Chlorornis, Delothraupis, Dubusia, Iridosornis, Cnemathraupis, Pipraeidea, and one Thraupis and Calochaetes species (Sedano and Burns 2010, Burns et al 2014). All of these genera occur at high elevations in the Northern Andes, suggesting that these birds radiated in this region (Sedano and Burns 2010).


Recommended Citation

. 2010. Masked Mountain-Tanager (Buthraupis wetmorei), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: