Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Blue-winged Mountain-tanager (Anisognathus somptuosus)


French: Tangara somptueux German: Blauflügel-Bergtangare Spanish: Tangara aliazul

Tachyphonus somptuosus


, 1831,

no locality = Peru


Up to HBW, this species was considered conspecific with A. flavinucha, but the two differ markedly in voice and plumage. Green-backed races virididorsalis, victorini and baezae also have more greenish-blue vs powder-blue fringes to wings and tail, but latter character also shared by black-backed venezuelanus and somptuosus at N and S range extremities; no vocal differences known that align with these plumage variations. Race alamoris extremely similar to nominate and possibly better synonymized with it; provisionally retained pending review of all races. Eight subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. venezuelanus (Hellmayr, 1913) – N Venezuela (coastal cordillera from Yaracuy E to Miranda).
  • A. s. virididorsalis (Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1949) – Aragua (Cerro Golfo Triste), in N Venezuela.
  • A. s. antioquiae (Berlepsch, 1912) – N end of W Andes, both slopes of C Andes (in Antioquia) and E slope (in Tolima), in N Colombia.
  • A. s. victorini (Lafresnaye, 1842) – Andes of W Venezuela (S Táchira) and W slope of E Andes of Colombia (from Santander S to head of Magdalena Valley, in Huila).
  • A. s. cyanopterus (Cabanis, 1866) – Andes of S Colombia (W slope of C range S from Quindío) and W Ecuador (S to Chimborazo and NE Azuay).
  • A. s. alamoris (Chapman, 1925) – S Ecuador (W slope in S Azuay, El Oro and W Loja).
  • A. s. baezae (Chapman, 1925) – E slope of Andes in SW Colombia (Nariño) and Ecuador (S to Morona-Santiago).
  • A. s. somptuosus (Lesson, 1831) – E slope of Andes in extreme S Ecuador (Zamora-Chinchipe) S to SC Peru (Urubamba Valley, Cuzco)#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; 33–56 g (combined weight data from when lumped with A. flavinucha). Distinctive strong-billed tanager with mostly blue wings and bold plumage... read more


    Generally rather quiet. Song a weak, rapid, very high-pitched, almost twittering “ti-ti-ti-ti... read more


    Humid and wet forest, forest borders, and tall second-growth woodland. At 900–2100 m in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, and small fruits and berries. Conspicuous pairs or groups of 3–10 individuals forage alone or join mixed-species flocks... read more


    In Colombia, nests in Apr–Jun in SW (La Planada Nature Reserve), nestlings in Jun and fledglings in Nov in Valle del Cauca, and juveniles... read more


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common, and widespread across most of its large Andean range. Locally may occur at low density. Present in many protected areas, e.g. Henri... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2020). Blue-winged Mountain-tanager (Anisognathus somptuosus). 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 January 2020).