Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Blue-and-black Tanager (Tangara vassorii)


French: Calliste bleu et noir German: Schwarzblautangare Spanish: Tangara azulinegra común

Tanagra (Euphone?) Vassorii


, 1840,

Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia


Forms a clade with T. nigroviridis, T. dowii and T. fucosa#R. Hitherto treated as conspecific with T. atrocoerulea. HBW mistakenly suggested that race branickii belongs with latter species. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. v. vassorii (Boissonneau, 1840) – Blue-and-black Tanager – Andes in Venezuela (Trujillo S to Táchira) and throughout Colombia S to Ecuador and E slope in N Peru (S to Piura and Cajamarca N of R Marañón).
  • T. v. branickii (Taczanowski, 1882) – Silver-crowned Tanager – E slope of Andes in Peru S of R Marañón (Amazonas and La Libertad).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; 15∙6–20 g. Beautiful dark blue high-elevation tanager with rather short bill and relatively short tail. Adult nominate race is mostly shining deep cobalt-blue;... read more


    Calls include high-pitched, thin “tsit” and “chip” notes, none very distinctive, during foraging.... read more


    Humid and wet, often mossy montane forest, forest edges, second growth and trees and shrubs in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruit; also, in far smaller quantity, arthropods. Stomachs contained seeds of melastome fruits. Rather social, occurring in pairs or small... read more


    In Colombia, two nests in Jun and begging juveniles in Jan in W Valle, fledglings in May in E Cauca, and nine birds in breeding condition... read more


    Generally resident. Some seasonal elevational movements may occur.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to fairly common; seldom numerous. Occurs in a number of protected areas, among them Guaramacal, Sierra Nevada and Tam... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S., de Juana, E. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Blue-and-black Tanager (Tangara vassorii). 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 23 January 2020).