The Flame-colored Tanager is widespread and common in the highlands of Central America, from northern Mexico south to western Panama. It primarily is resident, but some individuals disperse, especially after breeding, and it is a rare visitor to the mountains of the southwestern United States. Flame-faced Tanagers occur in a variety of forested habitats, including humid evergreen forest, pine-oak forests, and forest edge. Males are primarily orange or red, with dusky stripes on the back, and black wings with prominent white wing bars and tips to the tertials. The male of the subspecies of western Mexico (bidentata) is more orange, especially on the face and the belly, than are males of the three other species, which are redder overall. Female Flame-faced Tanagers lack red or orange; they are olive above, with dusky streaks, and yellow below, with a wing pattern similar to that of the male. These tanagers forage for a variety of fruits and insects in the midstory and canopy. Flame-faced Tanagers usually travel as singles or in pairs, which frequently associate with mixed species flocks.