Brassy-breasted Tanager Tangara desmaresti

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

Diet and Foraging


Fruit and insects are the primary food sources for Brassy-breasted Tanagers (Isler and Isler 1987). Reported stomach contents of Brassy-breasted Tanagers include unidentified arthropod fragments (n = 1), as well as seeds from the Melastomataceae family (n = 117) (Lopes 2005), and unidentified vegetable matter (n = 1, Isler and Isler 1987). Brassy-breasted Tanagers appear to prefer fruits of melastomes, Urtica, and myrtle as food sources (Isler and Isler 1987). Brassy-breasted Tanagers forage in the canopy for insects and berries (Parker et al. 1996, Isler and Isler 1987). The great agility of the Brassy-breasted Tanager is demonstrated by its ability to maneuver around leaves along thin branches, hopping from one branch to another (Isler and Isler 1987). Brassy-breasted Tanagers forage while perched, rather than during flight (Skutch 1989). In a study on the foraging method of Brassy-breasted Tanagers, Isler and Isler (1987) found that out of 41 observations, 16 individuals gleaned over leaves while perched on a branch and 8 individuals worked along branches, investigating and disturbing lichens and mosses on the branches (Isler and Isler 1987).

Foraging Behavior

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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.