Brassy-breasted Tanager Tangara desmaresti

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Megan Morris and Kevin J. Burns



The Brassy-breasted Tanager demonstrates behavior similar to other forest-dwelling tanager species, such as the closely related Gilt-edged Tanager Tangara cyanoventris (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Isler and Isler 1987). Rarely staying in one place for long durations of time, Brassy-breasted Tanagers are active, frequently moving between branches (Isler and Isler 1987). Isler and Isler (1987) describe the foraging behavior of the Brassy-breasted Tanager as "diagonal-lean", whereby the tanager progresses horizontally along a branch, dipping its body from one side of the branch to the other in order to retrieve food from the underside of branches. Brassy-breasted Tanagers also inspect fallen dead leaves caught in nearby foliage for food (Skutch 1989).

Brassy-breasted Tanagers have been observed exhibiting anting behaviors (Isler and Isler 1987).


Although Davis (1946) found that flocks of Brassy-breasted Tanagers remain with the same individuals from dusk to dawn and often inhabit a relatively small area, there is no evidence at this time to confirm whether or not Brassy-breasted Tanagers exhibit territorial behavior.

Sexual Behavior

Limited information is available regarding the sexual behavior of Brassy-breasted Tanagers. In courtship display, raises the bill and feathers, vibrates the wings, and appears to beg for food (Isler and Isler 1987).

Social and interspecific behavior

Brassy-breasted Tanagers forage in single species groups ranging in size from 2-12 individuals (Isler and Isler 1987). The social behavior of Brassy-breasted Tanagers appears to be similar to the closely related Gilt-edged Tanager (Tangara cyanoventris); however, Brassy-breasted Tanagers are encountered in larger, single-species groups (Ridgely and Tudor 2009). When Brassy-breasted Tanagers were found in mixed-species groups, their occurrence in the flock was short-lived (Isler and Isler 1987). In cases where individuals had wandered from the flock, it was usually for the purpose of searching for food, and the individual was heard vocalizing as if calling to the flock (Davis 1946).


No information.

Recommended Citation

Morris, M. and K. J. Burns (2012). Brassy-breasted Tanager (Tangara desmaresti), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.