Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Black-faced Tanager (Schistochlamys melanopis)


French: Tangara à camail German: Schleiertangare Spanish: Tangara carinegra

T[anagra]. melanopis


, 1790,



Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. m. aterrima Todd, 1912 – Colombia in middle (probably also lower) Cauca Valley, middle and upper Magdalena Valley, locally Santa Marta Mts area, Sierra de Perijá, and E of Andes in llanos (Casanare S to Caquetá and Putumayo and E to Vichada, Guainía and Vaupés), E locally through parts of N & S Venezuela to W Guyana and N Brazil (Cerro Uei-tepui).
  • S. m. melanopis (Latham, 1790) – E Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and NE Brazil.
  • S. m. grisea Cory, 1916 – extreme S Ecuador, and E Peru on E slope of Andes (very locally from Moyobamba and Huarandosa S to Marcapata).
  • S. m. olivina (P. L. Sclater, 1865) – extreme SE Peru (Pampas del Heath) and adjacent N Bolivia E to SC Brazil (Mato Grosso).
  • S. m. amazonica J. T. Zimmer, 1947 – Brazil S of R Amazon E to N Ceará, then S to Mato Grosso, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and up E coast to Pernambuco; recorded in Paraguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    17–18 cm; 29–40 g. Slender open-country tanager with grey body and black foreparts. Nominate race has forehead to mid-crown, side of head, throat and chest brownish-black,... read more


    Song a musical, rambling series of whistled notes, “Swéet, right here for me”, or similar phrase,... read more


    Dry to moist grassland with scattered shrubs, bushes and scrubby trees, and grassland or grassy... read more

    Food and feeding

    Variety of fruits, seeds and arthropods. Stomach contents fruit, berries, seeds, also ants (Formicidae) and other insect remains; of six... read more


    Recorded in Jan in Suriname and Sept in Brazil (Mato Grosso); in Colombia, birds in breeding condition in Mar–Jun in Andes and Jan and Apr... read more


    Apparently migrates seasonally from parts of C Brazil; elsewhere no movement reported.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common, and widespread. Has profited from deforestation, especially in Andes. First reported in extreme S Ecuador in 1986... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2019). Black-faced Tanager (Schistochlamys melanopis). 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 19 May 2019).