Black-and-gold Tanager Bangsia melanochlamys



  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Black-and-gold Tanager
eBird range map for Black-and-gold Tanager

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

The Black-and-gold Tanager is endemic to west Colombia, along the Pacific slope of the Western Andes in southern Chochó and northwestern Riseralda, and in the northern end of the Central Andes in eastern Antioquia (Meyer de Schauensee 1951, María and Olivares 1978, Hilty 1985, Hilty and Brown 1986, Parker et al. 1996, Cuervo et al. 2008b, Ridgely and Tudor 2009, Clements et al. 2018). In total it is known from about 25 localities (Graham et al. 2010). It is found in the Northern Andes Zoogeographic Region and is an element of the Northern Andean Center of Endemism (Cracraft 1986, Parker et al. 1996). More specifically, this species is known from two disjunct areas. One of these areas is on the northern and western slope of the Central Andes in the Antioquia Department. This population went 51 years without an observation until it was rediscovered in 1999 on the east side of the Nechí Valley (Restall et al. 2006, Cuervo et al. 2008a). Subsequently it has been found at other areas in the Central Andes and is common at Reserva La Serrana (Restall et al. 2006). This northern disjunct range extends to the northwest end of the Central Andes in Yuramal near La Frijolera and Las Ventanas above Valdivia. The second disjunct range is along the Pacific slope of the West Andes including the Chocó, Risaralda, and Valle del Cuaca Departments, including Cerro Tatamá near the headwaters of the Río San Juan (Isler and Isler 1987, Restall et al. 2006, Hilty 2011). This species is one of only two avian species, along with Multicolored Tanager (Chlorochrysa nitidissima), that are Andean endemics reliant on humid montane forests with disjunct distributions separated by the Río Cauca Valley (Voss et al. 2002).

This species has a Middle Montane center of abundance, found within 950-2450 m elevation (Meyer de Schauensee 1951, Parker et al. 1996, Isler and Isler 1987, Restall et al. 2006, Ridgely and Tudor 2009, Aköz 2013, Ocampo-Peñuela 2016, Ayala 2017). Normally it is seen between 1200-2200 m (Ridgely an Tudor 1989, Restall et al. 2006, Cuervo et al. 2008a, Ramirez Mosquera 2017). Most recent records have recorded it from 1400-1750 m (Hilty 2011). It was fairly common from 1100-1400 m at the northern end of the Western Andes in the Serranía de Abibe (Olaciregui et al. 2016). During the breeding season this species may have a more confined distribution, occurring at elevations lower than 1650 m (Stiles 1998).

Distribution outside the Americas

The Black-and-gold Tanager is endemic to Colombia.


The Black-and-gold Tanager typically inhabits and is reliant on mature humid tropical premontane and montane forests (Meyer de Schauensee 1951, Pearman 1993, Cuervo et al. 2008a, Aköz 2013, Colorado Zuluaga and Rodewald 2015). This species has also been documented from medium-sized forest patches and edges (Cuervo et al. 2008a). This species has also been found in disturbed habitats adjacent primary forests such as forest fragments, second growth, edges and isolated trees in clearings (Restall et al. 2006, Hilty 2011). Parker et al. (1996) list the primary habitat as Montane Evergreen Forest. Typically the habitat has high canopy cover, heavy undergrowth, and occurs on steep slopes (Stiles 1998, Restall et al. 2006, Ramirez Mosquera 2017). They typically occur at middle levels and the sub-canopy of the forest structure, about 13-15 m above the ground with normal limits of 7-18 m high (Pearman 1993, Parker et al. 1996, Stiles 1998, Ramirez Mosquera 2017). They will occasionally venture to the lower forest strata for fruits, and have been seen on the ground where steep slopes bring the canopy closer to the ground (Sedano 2014).

Historical changes

Apparently extirpated from Tatamá National Park, and populations likely in decline for all known populations (Hilty 2011). These species were last recorded in 1948 when they were seen in the northern and western slopes of the Central Andes in Antioquia and later again recorded in 1999, where they were seen in the west side of the Nechí River and the west slope of the West Andes on Chocó-Risaralda-Valle border (Hilty 2011).

They were apparently fairly common in the saddle between the Cauca and Nechí drainage near Las Ventanas above Valdivia, an area that is largely deforested now (Hilty and Brown 1986). In these areas, collections of eleven birds were made in 1945, and again in 1948, suggesting that these birds were fairly common in the areas (Ridgely and Tudor 1989).

Fossil history

There are no known fossils of Black-and-gold Tanagers.

Recommended Citation

Black-and-gold Tanager (Bangsia melanochlamys), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: