Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Brazilian Tanager (Ramphocelus bresilius)


French: Tangara du Brésil German: Brasiltangare Spanish: Tangara brasileña

Tanagra bresilia


, 1766,

“in India Occidentali et Orientali”; error = Pernambuco, eastern Brazil


Hybridization with R. carbo reported from E Brazil (Rio Doce area of Minas Gerais), but genetic differences between these two taxa are typical of well-differentiated species (2.4–4.0%). Species name claimed to be a noun and thus invariable#R, but ICZN Code does not support this#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. b. bresilius (Linnaeus, 1766) – coastal E Brazil from Paraíba S to Bahia (Ilhéus).
  • R. b. dorsalis P. L. Sclater, 1855 – SE Brazil from E Minas Gerais, S Bahia and Espírito Santo S to NE Santa Catarina; extreme NW Argentina (N Misiones).
  • Descriptive notes

    18 cm; 27·9–35·5 g. Typical tanager with heavy bill, lower mandible greatly expanded at base. Male nominate race is mainly rich glistening red, feathers of head, neck and... read more


    Song described as a melodious and leisurely “jewle-jewle-jewle...”, repeated. Harsh chattering... read more


    Variety of shrubby non-forest habitats, including overgrown clearings, forest borders, parks,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous. Reported as eating pulpy fruits, including Eugenia. Of five stomachs examined, two contained only vegetable matter,... read more


    Breeding reported in Nov in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Nest an open woven cup of grasses, vines and fibres, placed in bush or low tree... read more


    Reported as gathering in flocks in austral winter, suggesting that those in extreme S of range may... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to locally fairly common; almost always in small numbers. Records in NW Argentina (at least one old record and a few recent... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2019). Brazilian Tanager (Ramphocelus bresilius). 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).