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

    12·5–14 cm; 16–22·5 g. Colourful and highly sexually dimorphic tanager. Male nominate race has crown rufous (varying to coppery or golden-rufous), lowermost forehead, lores,... read more


    At times fairly vocal, especially for its genus. Call a buzzy “tzzit”, given when perched or in... 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. Stomach contents included berries,... read more


    Nesting reported Dec–May and Jul across much of Venezuela; Jan–Apr, Jul and Nov in Suriname; in E Colombia, birds in breeding condition in... read more


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

    Status and conservation

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

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). 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 22 January 2020).