Saffron-crowned Tanager Tangara xanthocephala

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


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Saffron-crowned Tanager
eBird range map for Saffron-crowned Tanager

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Saffron-crowned Tanager is resident in the Andes from Venezuela south to Bolivia. It occurs throughout the Andes of Venezuela, but not in the coastal ranges (Hilty 2003). The distribution in Colombia includes both slopes of all three Andean cordilleras, as well as the Serranía de La Macarena, although it is only local on the east slope of the Eastern Andes (Hilty and Brown 1986).Distribution in Peru of Saffron-crownedTanager. Solid circles: specimen records; open circles; sight records; dotted line: 1000 m contour (Schulenberg et al. 2006) It occurs throughout the eastern slope of the Andes of Ecuador, and on the west slope south to Pichincha (formerly south to Chimborazo) (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a). The distribution continues throughout the east slope of the Andes of Peru south to Santa Cruz, Bolivia (Hennessey et al. 2003).

The elevational range of the species is from 1800-2300 m in Venezuela (locally down to 1450 m) (Hilty 2003); 1300-2400 m in Colombia (rarely to 3100 m) (Hilty and Brown 1986); in Ecuador, it primarily occurs at 1500-2300 m, but locally to as lowas 1100 m (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a); from 1000-2300 m in Peru (Schulenberg et al. 2007); and from 1100-2700 m in Bolivia (Hennessey et al. 2003).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Saffron-crowned Tanager is commonly found in humid montane forests (cloud forests), forest borders, and second growth woodlands (Hilty 2003, Ridgely and Tudor 2009, Restall et al. 2007). Sometimes seen in shaded plantations and large trees in adjacent clearings and pastures (Restall et al. 2007). The montane forests in which the tanagers reside are often full of mossy trees in which they forage for insects. They are also seen in second growth woodland clearings with scattered large trees (Ridgely and Tudor 2009).

Historical changes

Little information. The range in western Ecuador apparently has shown some retraction; formerly reported south to Cayandeled in Chimborazo, although in recent years there are no reports south of Pichincha (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a).

Fossil history

None reported.

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.