Saffron-crowned Tanager Tangara xanthocephala

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Robert Iddings and Kevin J. Burns



Locomotion: Saffron-crowned Tanager is described as a restless forager, constantly moving about either flying or hopping around from branch to branch (Isler and Isler 1987, Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990).

Foraging Behavior: Saffron-crowned Tanager primarily is a bird of the canopy, although it forages for fruits at all heights. Fruits normally are gleaned while perched upright (Isler and Isler 1987). Like many other members of the genus Tangara, the Saffron-crowned Tanager forages for insects high in trees and sometimes lower at forest edge by peering head down along one side of the mossy branch, then along the other side (Hilty 2003). As described in Isler and Isler (1987), this species forages for insects by inspecting slender mossy branches with the diagonal-lean or head-down method, reaching into mossy clumps on the undersides of branches, and sometimes poking its entire head into moss.


No information.

Sexual Behavior

The Saffron-crowned Tanager forms mated pairs and is often times seen in these pairs (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001); presumably they are at least socially monogamous. However, there is no information on other sexual behaviors involving the length or formation of these pair bonds.

Social and interspecific behavior

Saffron-crowned Tanager is mainly seen in pairs or small groups, as well as seen in mixed species flocks consisting mostly other tanagers (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001). According to Isler and Isler (1987), pairs and groups consisting of 3-10 individuals of Saffron-crowned tanagers travel with other canopy birds, in particular other tanagers. On average, the Saffron-crowned Tanager is seen in a mixed-species flock 9.1 percent of the time, however the number of individual Saffron-crowned Tanagers seen in these flocks is only 1 (Bohorquez 2003).  In Venezuela, Saffron-crowned Tanager is often associated with Beryl-spangled (Tangara nigroviridis), Golden (Tangara arthus), and Black-capped (Tangara heinei) tanagers (Hilty 2003).


No information.

Recommended Citation

Iddings, R. and K. J. Burns (2012). Saffron-crowned Tanager (Tangara xanthocephala), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.