White-winged Shrike-Tanager Lanio versicolor

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Angeline M. Dufrane and Kevin J. Burns

White-winged Shrike-Tanagers are boldly patterned birds that live in Amazonia south of the Amazon River. Their habitat includes tropical lowland evergreen forests and lowland terra firme forests (Stotz et al. 1996, van Perlo 2009). Their diet consists of arthropods and fruit. Shrike-tanagers usually are found in mated pairs as permanent members of mixed species canopy flocks. One pair is present per flock, where they function as a sentinel species. These shrike-tanagers often are the first members of a mixed-species flock to give an alarm call when bird-eating hawks are spotted; they also regulurly give false alarm calls, deceiving other members of the flock but allowing the shrike-tanager to capture insects flushed by other flock members (Munn 1986). Little is known about their breeding behavior, reproduction, and population dynamics. Like the other species of Lanio, the White-winged Shrike-Tanager has a toothed bill with a large hook on the end, similar to that of true shrikes (Laniidae).


© Curtis Marantz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Dufrane, A. M. and K. J. Burns (2010). White-winged Shrike-Tanager (Lanio versicolor), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.