Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Cherrie's Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis)


French: Tangara du Costa Rica German: Cherrietangare Spanish: Tangara costarricense

Ramphocelus costaricensis


, 1891,

Pozo Azul, Costa Rica


Often treated as conspecific with R. passerinii, and indeed divergence between them (1.8%) is lower than between most species of tanager (2.4–4.0%), visual differences are minimal (involving mainly females) and vocal differences minor; further work to assess degree of divergence clearly needed. Monotypic.


Pacific slope of Costa Rica from Puntarenas (C & S regions) and NE Central Valley S to W Panama (Chiriquí and Veraguas).

Descriptive notes

16 cm. Thick-billed tanager with slightly enlarged base of lower mandible. Male is deep velvety black from head to back and on wings, tail and underparts, black feathers of... read more


Song, mainly at dawn from about Feb to mid-Aug in SW Costa Rica, a repetition of simple phrase of... read more


Second growth, dense humid thickets, bushy forest borders, overgrown pastures, gardens and... read more

Food and feeding

Wide variety of fruit and arthropods taken. Fruits eaten include melastomes, arillate fruits, Cecropia, and many kinds of fruit... read more


Reported in Mar–Sept, but few nesting attempts after Jul, in Costa Rica (El General Valley); rarely two broods, but may make second nesting... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in South Central American Pacific Slope EBA. Common within limited range. Females and female-plumaged birds... read more

Recommended citation

Hilty, S. (2019). Cherrie's Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis). 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 13 December 2019).