Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Grey-headed Tanager (Eucometis penicillata)


Taxonomy

French: Tangara à tête grise German: Graukopftangare Spanish: Tangara cabecigrís
Taxonomy:

Tanagra penicillata

Spix

, 1825,

no locality = Fonte Boa, Amazonas, Brazil

.

Species shows considerable geographical variation in size and plumage. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. p. pallida Berlepsch, 1888 – SE Mexico (on Caribbean slope from S Veracruz, N Oaxaca, and Yucatán Peninsula), N & C Guatemala, Belize and N Honduras (S to Olancho).
  • E. p. spodocephalus (Bonaparte, 1853) – Northern Grey-headed Tanager – both slopes of Nicaragua S to Costa Rica (S on Pacific slope to Guanacaste and on Caribbean slope to Alajuela).
  • E. p. stictothorax Berlepsch, 1888 – Pacific slope of Costa Rica (S from Puntarenas) S to Panama (Veraguas).
  • E. p. cristata (du Bus de Gisignies, 1855) – Panama (Caribbean slope from Coclé E to C Panama, and Pacific slope E from Veraguas) E to Colombia (S in Cauca Valley to Valle, and in Magdalena Valley to Huila; also E of Andes in Arauca), and NW Venezuela (E to Mérida and extreme W Portuguesa).
  • E. p. affinis Berlepsch, 1888 – N Venezuela from Falcón E to Miranda.
  • E. p. penicillata (Spix, 1825) – Southern Grey-headed Tanager – E of Andes from Colombia (Meta and Amazonas) S through E Ecuador to Peru (Ucayali), and E across much of NC Brazil to Atlantic coast (W Maranhão); also S Venezuela (NW Amazonas) and the Guianas.
  • E. p. albicollis (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – E of Andes from N Bolivia (Pando, La Paz and Santa Cruz) E across C Brazil (Mato Grosso E to Minas Gerais and W São Paulo); also NE Paraguay (sight record Concepción).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; 22·5–35 g. Nominate race has grey head, large bushy crest (white at feather bases usually concealed); upperparts including uppertail-coverts... read more

    Voice

    Songs may vary somewhat geographically (or possibly individually), but are typically high-pitched... read more

    Habitat

    Varies over broad range. In N of range and W & N of Andes occurs in undergrowth of both dry and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods; also fruit, including Miconia berries, arillate seeds etc. Nestling diet mostly insects. Found singly and in pairs in... read more

    Breeding

    Breeding reported in Apr in Belize; breeds Mar–Jul (two broods) in Costa Rica and Apr–Sept in Panama; nest under construction in Feb in... read more

    Movements

    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Variably uncommon and local in drier regions to common in some humid regions, especially N & W of Andes. Widespread across much of Amazonia, but... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2017). Grey-headed Tanager (Eucometis penicillata). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/61611 on 25 November 2017).