Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Gray-headed Tanager Eucometis penicillata

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 7 subspecies
  • Authors: Carly S. Baker and Kevin J. Burns

Priorities for Future Research

Additional information is still needed about the life history of this tanager species including more information on molts, territoriality, sexual behavior, responses to predators, age at first breeding, life span, and details on their populations and demography. Much of the information available on the Gray-headed Tanager comes from first hand accounts from only a handful of people. The Gray-headed Tanager is listed by the IUCN as Least Concern, but there is no population size estimate or population trend estimate.  Limited genetic sampling indicates a high level of diversity present within this species (Burns and Racicot 2009).  Additional genetic sampling of individuals across the range of this species would clarify the nature of this diversity and determine whether the polytypic Gray-headed Tanager in fact contains multiple distinct species.

Recommended Citation

Baker, C. S. and K. J. Burns (2010). Gray-headed Tanager (Eucometis penicillata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.