The Azure-rumped Tanager is restricted to the Pacific slope mountains of Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico. In Chiapas, the species is reported from 1000-1700 m (Heath and Long 1991). In Guatemala, the species has been observed in the altitudinal belt between 800 and 1900 m (including nesting records), on 9 topographic units and 16 sites in the departments of San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Sololá, Suchitepéquez, and Chimaltenango (Eisermann and Avendaño 2007a, Eisermann et al 2011a,b).
Distribution outside the Americas
Endemic to northern Central America.
Humid broadleaf forest and adjacent shade coffee plantations. In Chiapas, the species had been recorded only in broadleaf forest (Heath and Long 1991). In a recent study in Guatemala, the tanager was recorded in both broadleaf forest and shade coffee plantation, but preferred forest habitat (Eisermann et al. 2011a). The elevation of records ranges from 860 to 1900 m, but the encounter rate of tanagers was highest in forests at 1400-1900 m (Eisermann et al. 2011a).
Tanagers move mainly in the upper vegetation strata. At Atitlán volcano the mean relative height in vegetation was 83% ± 17 (n=90 observations) in forests and 83% ± 20 (n=16 observations) in shade coffee plantations (Eisermann et al. 2011a). Occasionally, tanagers move low in the understory, foraging in fruiting shrubs or collecting nest material as low as 1 m above ground (Eisermann et al. 2011a), and sometimes also on ground (Hilty and Simon 1977).
The overall extent of the geographic distribution of the Azure-rumped Tanager has not changed within the historical period, but the natural habitat available to the tanager has been reduced considerably due to human activity (see Conservation).
There are no fossil records for Azure-rumped Tanager.
Eisermann, Knut. 2011. Azure-rumped Tanager (Tangara cabanisi), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.azrtan1.01