Multicolored Tanager Chlorochrysa nitidissima




The green colors allow the Multicolored Tanager to blend into the foliage where they hop quickly and prolonged observation is difficult (Isler and Isler 1987). They forage either in pairs or in mixed-species flocks, and tend to stay within the mid to upper levels of the forest, with an average foraging height of 10 m (Isler and Isler 1987, Restall et al. 2007). They glean off the underside of leaves, which is a common foraging mode within Chlorochrysa (Isler and Isler 1987). Their strong tarsi help them hang upside from twigs or leaf surfaces and move quickly across moss to pick at vegetation. They are often seen hanging upside down from branches, vines or even moss clumps, and have been observed climbing vertically from palm frond to frond, or hanging from frond tips (Hilty and Brown 1986, Isler and Isler 1987).


No information on territoriality in this species is available.

Sexual Behavior

This species is often reported as occurring as a pair, but we have been unable to locate any information on the mating system or extra-pair copulations.

Social and interspecific behavior

Multicolored Tanagers can be seen as single individuals, in pairs or family groups of three individuals, or in mixed-species foraging flocks (Donegan and Dávalos 1999, Angarita and Renjifo 2002, Marín-Gómez et al. 2009, Gómez-Hoyos et al. 2018, McMullan 2018). More detailed observations report them as occurring as solitary individuals 42% of the time, and in pairs of in flocks 58% of the time (Kattan 1992). Though often seen foraging with mixed-species flocks, they perhaps are not as often associated with such flocks as are the other Chlorochrysa species (Hilty 2011). When in mixed-species flocks they often occur in pairs or groups of three, and forage for insects with their heads held low, probing bromeliads and other epiphytic plants, and continuously vocalized while moving (Cuervo et al. 2008a, Marín-Gómez et al. 2009, Marín-Gómez and Arbeláez-Cortés 2015). One mixed-species foraging flock that included Multicolored Tanagers also included (Marín-Gómez et al. 2009): Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea), Golden-winged Manakin (Masius chrysopterus), Red-faced Spinetail (Cranioleuca erythrops), Three-striped Warbler (Basileuterus tristriatus), Spotted Barbtail (Premnoplex brunnescens), Gray-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucophrys), Slate-throated Redstart (Myioborus miniatus), Tropical Parula (Setophaga pitiayumi), and Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca). The Crested Ant-tanager (Habia cristata) has also been observed in mixed-species flocks Multicolored Tanagers (Willis 1966). Two of three described nests of the Multicolored Tanager were found within old nests of other species (Loaiza-Muñoz et al. 2017). One was within an old Yellow-olive Flycatcher (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) nest, and the other was in a refurbished old roosting dome nest of a Gray-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucophrys).


No predation events have been reported, by they are disturbed by pigmy-owl calls (Miller 1963).

Recommended Citation

Multicolored Tanager (Chlorochrysa nitidissima), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: