Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Fawn-breasted Tanager (Pipraeidea melanonota)


French: Tangara à dos noir German: Schwarzwangentangare Spanish: Tangara de antifaz

Tanagra melanonota


, 1819,

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Taxonomic status of SE populations may be worthy of investigation. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. venezuelensis (P. L. Sclater, 1857) – mountains of N, NE, SW & S Venezuela (coastal range from Carabobo E to Distrito Federal and Miranda; Sucre and Monagas; locally in Andes from NW & S Lara S to Táchira; Cerro Yaví and Cerro Taracuniña, in N & S Amazonas; probably also mountains of SE Bolívar), and W, C & E Andes of Colombia S on both slopes to Ecuador, Peru (S on W slope to Lima, on E slope throughout), Bolivia and NW Argentina (S to Tucumán and Catamarca).
  • P. m. melanonota (Vieillot, 1819) – S & SE Brazil (locally SW Mato Grosso; and S Bahia and E Minas Gerais S to C Rio Grande do Sul), E Paraguay, NE Argentina (Misiones and N Corrientes; NE Buenos Aires S to Punta Indio) and S Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    14 cm; 18–25 g. Unusual tanager with short, wide, hirundinid-like bill with small hook, rather short legs, long wings and short tail, and sky-blue crown. Male nominate race... read more


    Infrequently heard song a series of high “see” or “sweee” notes, varying from 4 or 5 notes given... read more


    Bushy pastures, cultivated and small semi-open areas with large trees, along forest borders and in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Of ten stomachs examined, six contained only vegetable matter and four contained vegetable and animal matter; contents included berries,... read more


    Fledgling in Jul in W Venezuela (Mérida); nest-building in Mar (Huila) and birds in breeding condition in Mar (Huila) and Jul (Valle... read more


    Nomadic or seasonal migratory movements known, but poorly documented. In N Venezuela (coastal... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rare to fairly common (periodically or seasonally), and widespread. Occurs in wide range of forest-border and semi-open habitats, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. & de Juana, E. (2019). Fawn-breasted Tanager (Pipraeidea melanonota). 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).