Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Golden Tanager (Tangara aurulenta)


French: Calliste doré German: Goldtangare Spanish: Tangara dorada

Tanagra (Aglaia) aurulenta


, 1843,



See T. chrysotis (page 902). Hitherto considered conspecific with T. arthus. Subspecies fall into three plumage groups: (A) aurulenta, occidentalis, goodsoni and palmitae; (B) sclateri; and (C) pulchra, aequatorialis and sophiae; further research required. Race palmitae poorly differentiated from aurulenta and possibly better synonymized with it. Eight subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. a. aurulenta (Lafresnaye, 1843) – Western Golden Tanager – NW Venezuela (Sierra de Perijá) and W slope of E Andes of Colombia (S from about latitude of Bogotá).
  • T. a. occidentalis Chapman, 1914 – W slope of C Andes and both slopes of W Andes (S to Nariño), in Colombia.
  • T. a. palmitae Meyer de Schauensee, 1947 – W slope of E Andes at La Palmita (Santander), in Colombia.
  • T. a. goodsoni E. J. O. Hartert, 1913 – W slope of Andes in Ecuador, and probably also NW Peru.
  • T. a. sclateri (Lafresnaye, 1854) – Eastern Golden Tanager – both slopes of E Andes of Colombia (from Boyacá and Santander S to Cundinamarca, and in Macarena Mts), probably also Andes of adjacent SW Venezuela (S Táchira).
  • T. a. aequatorialis (Taczanowski & Berlepsch, 1885) – E slope of Andes in Ecuador and adjacent N Peru (N and W of Marañón Valley).
  • T. a. pulchra (Tschudi, 1844) – Southern Golden Tanager – E slope of Andes in Peru (from Amazonas to Junín).
  • T. a. sophiae (Berlepsch, 1901) – E slope of Andes in SE Peru (S from Cuzco and Puno) S to Bolivia (La Paz and Cochabamba).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 18–27·5 g. Beautiful Andean tanager with plumage of rich gold and black, but notable for complex plumage variation. Adult has head rich deep glistening yellow, with... read more


    Call a buzzy “seet”, “cheet”, “chuup” or “bzeet”, often given over and over during foraging.


    Humid and wet montane forest and forest borders, sparingly extending into trees and second growth... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruit, some arthropods; also flower parts. Of nine stomachs examined, eight contained only vegetable matter and one contained both... read more


    One nest found in late Mar in NW Ecuador (in Mushullacta Community Forest Reserve, SW Galeras Mts, c. 8 km SE of Guamaní, in Pichincha),... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread, and generally fairly common to locally common throughout range. Occurs in numerous protected areas, from Serranía de los... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Golden Tanager (Tangara aurulenta). 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 February 2020).