White-rumped Tanager Cypsnagra hirundinacea

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Ashley True and Kevin J. Burns

The White-rumped Tanager is a resident of campo grassland and cerrado from eastern Bolivia east to northeastern Brazil and southeast to Paraguay. Farther north, the species has also been documented in isolated populations in Suriname and French Guiana. The sexes are alike in plumage. Adult White-rumped Tanagers have black upperparts with a white rump. Their underparts vary from cinnamon to white, depending on the subspecies. Other subspecific differences include presence or absence of a supercilium and presence or absence of an amber-colored throat. Immatures have a pattern similar to that of the adult, but brown replaces black on the upperparts. White-rumped Tanagers usually are found in groups of 3 to 6 individuals within mixed species flocks.  These tanagers are mainly insectivorous and capture a variety of arthropods including caterpillars, orthoptera, and beetles in the understory. White-rumped Tanagers also make occasional aerial sallies to catch flying ants or termites when available. They are notable for their complex duets, often given in the early morning.   They often lead mixed-species flocks and serve as sentinels. Individuals perch at the tops of trees and give alarm calls when predators approach. The White-rumped Tanager also is unusual in that it is one of the few tanagers for which cooperative breeding has been documented.


© Andrew Spencer

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

True, A. and K. J. Burns (2010). White-rumped Tanager (Cypsnagra hirundinacea), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whrtan1.01