Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Burnished-buff Tanager (Tangara cayana)


French: Calliste passevert German: Isabelltangare Spanish: Tangara isabel norteña

Tanagra cayana


, 1766,

Cayenne, French Guiana


See T. argentea, also T. preciosa. Hitherto treated as conspecific with T. flava (which see). Birds of E Peru sometimes separated as race cyanolaima, although validity of this form has long been questioned#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. c. fulvescens Todd, 1922 – Colombia on both slopes of E Andes at N end (S from Norte de Santander).
  • T. c. cayana (Linnaeus, 1766) – E Colombia (S to Meta and Vaupés) and Venezuela (S to Cerro Yapacana, in C Amazonas, and Bolívar), locally through the Guianas to coastal NC Brazil (Amapá, N Pará); isolated populations in NE & SE Peru, N Bolivia and C Brazil (R Madeira; R Negro).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 15·2–22·5 g. Colourful tanager with two distinctive plumage types, colours of both varying with angle of light. Male nominate race has... read more


    At times fairly vocal, especially for its genus. Call a buzzy “tzzit”, given when... read more


    Drier open habitats, including ranchland, borders of gallery and savanna woodland, and scrubby... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits, some arthropods; overall, appears to eat mostly fruit and seems not to capture many insects. Of 19 stomachs examined, 18 contained... read more


    Breeding reported Dec–May In Venezuela, Jan–Apr, Jul and Nov in Suriname, and Oct and Nov in S Brazil. Open cup-nest of... read more


    Resident. Some local movements in response to availability of fruit.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common and widespread across much of range. Occurs in many parks and other protected areas over its vast range, thrives in degraded areas, and has... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2019). Burnished-buff Tanager (Tangara cayana). 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).