Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Palm Tanager (Tangara palmarum)


French: Tangara des palmiers German: Palmentangare Spanish: Tangara palmera

Tanagra palmarum


, 1821,

Canavieiras, Bahia, Brazil


See T. episcopus. Race violilavata generally distinctive (if rather variable) for its violet vs olive-green general colour (3), but otherwise (including in voice) appears undifferentiated. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. p. atripennis (Todd, 1922) – E Nicaragua S to Colombia W of Andes (including Santa Marta region) and NW Venezuela (Maracaibo region).
  • T. p. melanoptera (P. L. Sclater, 1857) – E Colombia, Venezuela (except Maracaibo region), including Margarita I and Patos I, Trinidad, Tobago, the Guianas, and N & C Brazil (N of R Amazon and, S of it, from R Tocantins, in E Pará) S to E Ecuador, E Peru, N Bolivia and C Mato Grosso.
  • T. p. palmarum (Wied, 1821) – Olive Palm Tanager – E Brazil (E from R Tocantins, S to Mato Grosso, W Paraná, and NE Rio Grande do Sul), E Paraguay (Alto Paraná, Amambay, Canindeyú, also recorded in Asunción#R) and N Argentina (records in Misiones and E Formosa).
  • T. p. violilavata (Berlepsch & Taczanowski, 1884) – Violaceus Palm Tanager – SW Colombia (from Cerro Munchique, in Cauca) S through W Ecuador almost to Peruvian border.
  • Descriptive notes

    17 cm; 27–48 g. Generally drab-looking tanager with glossed plumage, in poor light sometimes appearing featureless. Male nominate race has head creamy olive, forecrown... read more


    Song, often from top of palm spike, a rapid unmusical stream of high squeaky, twittering and clear... read more


    Wide variety of habitats. Widespread in shrubby clearings, second growth, gallery forest, forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    About equal amounts of fruit and insect matter, also flower petals. In Trinidad ate 24 species of fruit, especially Didymopanax (... read more


    Breeding reported in Jan–Jun in Panama, Jul–Sept and Dec in Colombia, Jan in Guyana, Dec–Sept in Suriname, Jul in French... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common and widespread over much of ample range. Utilizes variety of undisturbed humid forest habitats, as well as second growth and disturbed... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2020). Palm Tanager (Tangara palmarum). 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 21 February 2020).