Family Cardinals (Cardinalidae)


Black-cheeked Ant-tanager (Habia atrimaxillaris)


French: Habia à joues noires German: Schwarzwangenkardinal Spanish: Habia carinegra

Phœnicothraupis atrimaxillaris

Dwight and Griscom

, 1924,

Puerto Jiménez, Puntarenas, Costa Rica


Previously suggested as perhaps conspecific with H. fuscicauda#R. Monotypic.


Vicinity of Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce (S Puntarenas), in SW Costa Rica; a presumed vagrant recorded at San Vito, 74 km from known range, at 1200 m#R.

Descriptive notes

19 cm; one male 48·9 g. Relatively dull ant-tanager, strong-billed and with dark head. Male has partly concealed crown patch salmon-orange, the feathers long but... read more


During foraging, groups continually give low, nasal “chit” and “chet” notes... read more


Dense lowland forest, streamside woodland, older second growth, occasionally selectively logged... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods; also some fruits, including berries of melastomes and Solanaceae. Found in pairs and in small groups, often with other birds in... read more


Few nests found. Season approximately mid-Jan to May, spanning dry season and early rainy season; nests with eggs in late Jan, nest-... read more


Resident. An apparently vagrant individual recorded however at San Vito, 74 km from known range and... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in South Central American Pacific Slope EBA. Locally fairly common; declining. Found only on the Osa Peninsula and around the... read more

Recommended citation

Hilty, S. (2019). Black-cheeked Ant-tanager (Habia atrimaxillaris). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 August 2019).