Yellow-crested Tanager is active, rapidly moving through the canopy as it peers at foliage, gleaning and sallying for insects, and gleaning fruit.
It usually is in pairs, which associate with mixed species flocks, and indeed may spend their entire lives in the same flock (Munn 1985).
Mixed-species flocks containing Yellow-crested Tanagers tend to stay within specific, confined territories (Munn 1985). There are no published data on home range size for Yellow-crested Tanager, but at one site in southeastern Peru, the estimated density was 4.5 pairs per 100 ha (Terborgh et al. 1990).
Undescribed, but Yellow-crowned Tanager usually is in pairs, and presumably is at least socially monogamous.
Social and interspecific behavior
Yellow-crested Tanager tends to be found in pairs, but occasionally with juveniles or solitarily, and is a core members of canopy mixed-species flocks (Munn 1985, Hosner et al. 2009, Hilty 2011). It only occasionally joins understory flocks (Munn and Terborgh 1979). In three studied canopy flocks in Cocha Cashu, Manu National Park, Peru, a mated pair of this species was always present (Munn 1985), as were mated pairs of the following species: Chestnut-shouldered Antwren (Euchrepomis humeralis), Yellow-margined Flycatcher (Tolmomyias assimilis), White-winged Shrike-Tanager (Lanio versicolor), White-shouldered Tanager (Tachyphonus luctuosus), and Dusky-capped Greenlet (Pachysylvia hypoxantha). Munn (1985) hypothesized that these mated pairs are core species and spend their entire lives in a single canopy flock.