Yellow-crested Tanager is an omnivore, active and rapidly moving about the canopy as they peer at foliage, glean insects, and make short sallies (Armacost 2006, Hilty 2011). Its diet is not known in very much detail, however. Of two stomachs examined, one contained vegetable and animal matter, and the other contained fruit pulp and a caterpillar (Isler and Isler 1987). It also consumes Ficus fruits (Tello 2003).
Yellow-crested Tanager is an active forager, rapidly moving through the canopy as it peers at foliage, gleans insects, and makes short sallies (Armacost 2006, Hilty 2011). It primarily forages in the canopy about 10-30 meters above the ground, but occasionally forages in emergent canopies or in the understory (Isler and Isler 1987, Parker et al. 1996, Hayes and Sewlal 2004). In 31 foraging observations, the averaging foraging height was 65% of the canopy height (Pearson 1971). Yellow-crested Tanager examines foliage and gleans insects off of leaves, and also makes short sallies (to 0.3 m) to leaf upper surfaces (Isler and Isler 1987). In a single observation, two perched individuals ate Ficus fruits, which they consumed by mashing (Tello 2003).