Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Black-headed Tanager (Tangara argentea)


Taxonomy

French: Calliste à tête noire German: Blauflügeltangare Spanish: Tangara cabecinegra
Other common names: Whitely's Tanager (whitelyi)
Taxonomy:

T[anagra]. argentea

Lafresnaye

, 1843,

“Bogotá ou Caracas”

.

Previously listed as T. cyanoptera; however, with merging of Thraupis into present genus, that name becomes preoccupied by what was previously known as Thraupis cyanoptera, and is replaced by next oldest name for present species, argentea. Instead of lumping Thraupis into Tangara, an alternative arrangement would involve the use of several resurrected and several new generic names, with Stilpnia being established for this species (which would then become S. cyanoptera), T. whitelyi, T. viridicollis, T. phillipsi, T. argyrofenges, T. heinei, T. larvata, T. cyanicollis, T. nigrocincta, T. peruviana, T. preciosa, T. meyerdeschauenseei, T. vitriolina, T. cayana, T. flava, T. versicolor and T. cucullata706. Hitherto treated as conspecific with T. whitelyi; sister (with whitelyi) to group containing T. viridicollis, T. phillipsi, T. argyrofenges and T. heinei. Monotypic.

Distribution:

N Colombia (Santa Marta Mts, and both slopes of E Andes at N end), Sierra de Perijá, and W & N Venezuela (Andes from Lara S to Táchira, mountains of C Falcón and Yaracuy, and N cordilleras from Carabobo E to Sucre and Monagas).

Descriptive notes

13 cm, one female 18 g (nominate); 14 cm, 19·5–24·5 g (whitelyi); male 17·1–24·5 g and female 18–27·5 g (... read more

Voice

Variety of very high-pitched, buzzy and lisping notes, e.g. “djeet”, during foraging, but otherwise... read more

Habitat

Nominate race occurs in moist to moderately humid woodland, mainly along borders, scattered trees... read more

Food and feeding

Variety of small fruits, e.g. recorded as taking melastome berries and Cecropia catkins; some arthropods. Usually seen singly or... read more

Breeding

Nine birds in breeding condition in Mar–Jun in N Colombia. Eggs white, marked with shades of brown and grey. No other information.

Movements

Predominantly resident. Some local movements, especially within drier habitats favoured by nominate... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common locally. Utilizes disturbed woodland, woodlots, small forest fragments, coffee plantations, and borders of more mature... read more

Recommended citation

Hilty, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Black-headed Tanager (Tangara argentea). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/61720 on 24 January 2019).