Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanicollis)


French: Calliste à cou bleu German: Azurkopftangare Spanish: Tangara cabeciazul

A[glaia]. cyanicollis

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

Yuracares, Bolivia


See T. argentea, also T. larvata. Taxonomic status of isolated lowland races melanogaster and albotibialis may be worthy of investigation. Seven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. c. hannahiae (Cassin, 1865) – #RN Colombia (Sierra de Perijá and N end of E Andes in Norte de Santander) and mountains of Venezuela (Andes from S Lara S to Táchira, Sierra de Aroa, in Yaracuy, coastal cordillera in Carabobo and Aragua, and interior cordillera in N Guárico).
  • T. c. granadensis (Berlepsch, 1884) – Andes of Colombia (W range S to Munchique area of Cauca, C range and W slope of E range from Santander S to NW Cundinamarca).
  • T. c. caeruleocephala (Swainson, 1838) – Colombia (head of Magdalena Valley in Huila, and E Andes in Boyacá and Cundinamarca and, on E slope, S to Nariño) S on E slope to N Peru (S to La Libertad and Huallaga Valley, in N San Martín).
  • T. c. cyanopygia (Berlepsch & Taczanowski, 1884) – entire W slope of Andes in Ecuador.
  • T. c. cyanicollis (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – E slope of Andes in Peru (from Huánuco) S to Bolivia (to Cochabamba).
  • T. c. melanogaster Cherrie & Reichenberger, 1923 – isolated population in lowlands of Amazon drainage in C Brazil (N Mato Grosso and S Pará E, at least, to left bank of R Araguaia); recorded also in C Bolivia (Serranía de Huanchaca, NE Santa Cruz).
  • T. c. albotibialis Traylor, 1950 – Veadeiros (Goiás), in EC Brazil.
  • Several records, unattributed to subspecies, from N & C Tocantins#R.

    Descriptive notes

    12 cm; 14–18·8 g. Stunning little tanager with blue head and burnished-gold shoulders. Nominate race has entire head and throat turquoise-blue with black lores and ocular... read more


    Calls include rather low-pitched, penetrating “tzup” notes; also higher “tsip’tsip” and “seep” and... read more


    Borders of humid forest, second growth, and overgrown pastures and clearings with scattered trees... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits and arthropods. In Colombia study, fruit comprised 86% of all foraging records, insects 13% and flower buds 1%; recorded as eating... read more


    In Colombia, six breeding records Jan–Aug (including two nests in Feb) and seven birds in breeding condition in Jun–Aug. A mossy cup-nest... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread, and common to locally common. Brazilian race albotibialis known only from one site (Veadeiros, in Goiás). Occurs in numerous... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2019). Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanicollis). 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 21 May 2019).