Yellow-bellied Tanager Ixothraupis xanthogastra

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Stacey Virtue and Kevin J. Burns



Locomotion: At rest, often perch in open on top of canopy, mostly in crowns of trees from middle to upper levels of the forest, (Hilty and Brown 1986, Isler and Isler 1987). In the early mornings, Yellow-bellied Tanagers sometimes fly to the top of the canopy, sing briefly and fly back down. They will repeat this behavior a few times, then stop. They are generally very active and restless (Isler and Isler 1987).

Foraging: Foraging occurs mostly alone with some cases observed in small groups that glean foliage on outer twigs, hanging from the leaves, and then flying to fruit trees (Hilty and Brown 1986, Restall 2007). They forage in the canopy in feeding aggregations (Isler and Isler 1987, Stotz et al. 1996). Yellow-bellied Tanagers feed on insects that they pick from the underside of thin leaves via hovering, reaching up and leaning down near outer edge of forests, (Ridgely 1989, Schulenberg et al. 2007, Ridgely and Tudor 2009). They pick fruit from perched position or slide down twigs to pick berries head-down. Insects are picked off of leaves at the top of the canopy by gleaning top and bottom leaf surfaces while hanging upside down. They hop on leaves as a strategy to find prey that may move (Isler and Isler 1987). In a study of the foraging modes of the Yellow-bellied Tanager in the Serriania Bella Vista in Bolivia, tanagers used partially moss-covered branches, bare branches, dead leaves, leaves and finally the air surrounding tress and shrub (Naoki 2003).

Self-maintenance: No information


No information.

Sexual Behavior


Social and interspecific behavior

Found in pairs of small parties that may consist of family groups.  Yellow-bellied Tanagers frequently associate with mixed species flocks containing honeycreepers, dacnises and other Tangara tanagers. (Isler and Isler 1987, Bohórquez 2003, Hilty 2003).


No information.

Recommended Citation

Virtue, S. and K. J. Burns (2012). Yellow-bellied Tanager (Ixothraupis xanthogastra), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.