Seven-colored Tanager has been observed primarily foraging on melastome berries and foraging for arthropods in dead leaves hanging from branches (Silveira et al. 2003a). They have been observed foraging at all heights, perhaps most often in the canopy (Parker et al. 1996), but also are seen frequently at low heights along borders and in trees in small clearings (Ridgely and Tudor 2009). Its general foraging behavior involves hopping along branches and peering under them (Ridgely and Tudor 2009).
Despite occurring in groups and with flocks of mixed species, Seven-colored Tanager appears to be strongly territorial. Because they are territorial and will readily investigate intruders, caged individuals are often used by trappers (Silveira et al. 2003a).
Social and interspecific behavior
Seven-colored Tanager is primarily found in pairs or groups up to four birds or in flocks of mixed species (Lamm 1948, Silveira et al. 2003a). Associated species include other tanagers, such as Red-necked Tanager (T. cyanocephala), Opal-rumped Tanager (Tangara velia cyanomelas), Burnished-buff Tanager (Tangara cayana), Blue Dacnis (Dacnis cayana), and Flame-crested Tanager (Tachyphonus cristatus), and also sometimes insectivorous species such Golden-spangled Piculet (Picumnus exilis), Gray-headed Spinetail (Cranioleuca semicinerea), and others (Silveira et al. 2003a).