Family Mitrospingid Tanagers (Mitrospingidae)

Least Concern

Dusky-faced Tanager (Mitrospingus cassinii)


French: Mitrospin obscur German: Rußgesicht-Stärlingstangare Spanish: Tangara carinegruzca

Tachyphonus Cassinii


, 1861,

Lion Hill, Panama


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. c. costaricensis Todd, 1922 – Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica (from Heredia) S to extreme NW Panama (vicinity of Almirante Bay).
  • M. c. cassinii (Lawrence, 1861) – Caribbean lowlands of W Panama (from Veraguas and Chiriquí Lagoon E to E Darién, also locally on Pacific slope); and Colombia at N end of W Andes (R Nechí) E to Serranía de San Lucas, S on E slope of C range in Caldas (to Tasajos; La Victoria), and entire Pacific lowlands (from Chocó) S to W Ecuador (S to Guayas).
  • Descriptive notes

    18 cm; 32–41 g. Relatively dull species with rather long, slender and conical bill, and feathers of face rather short and stiff. Nominate race has centre of crown mustard-... read more


    Song, repeated persistently at dawn, a sharp, high-pitched, emphatic “zeep zeep zeep zeep-it... read more


    Thickets and dense shrubbery along forest borders, light gaps, second growth of various ages, and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small arthropods and fruits. In Costa Rica recorded as eating fruits especially of melastomes, Rubiaceae and Solanaceae, also grass seeds... read more


    Breeding reported in Mar–Apr in Costa Rica; in Colombia, twelve birds in breeding condition in Feb–May in NW and a stub-tailed juvenile... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to locally common throughout most of range. Occurs in a number of protected areas, including, among others, La Selva and Braulio... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2018). Dusky-faced Tanager (Mitrospingus cassinii). 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 14 December 2018).