Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Plain-colored Tanager (Tangara inornata)


French: Calliste gris German: Schlichttangare Spanish: Tangara cenicienta
Other common names: Plain Tanager

Calliste inornata


, 1855,

Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia


Based on genetic data this species is sister to T. mexicana, despite striking differences in plumage. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. i. rava Wetmore, 1963 – Caribbean slope in Costa Rica (S from Heredia) and Panama (S to Colón and Coclé).
  • T. i. languens Bangs & Barbour, 1922 – Panama (Caribbean side E from Colón and Coclé, and Pacific slope E from W Panamá Province) E to Colombia (Chocó, and S in Pacific lowlands to N Valle del Cauca).
  • T. i. inornata (Gould, 1855) – N Colombia at N base of W Andes (Sinú Valley in Antioquia), lower Cauca Valley (in Antioquia), and middle Magdalena Valley (from Antioquia S to Caldas, Santander, W Boyacá and W Cundinamarca).
  • Descriptive notes

    12 cm; 16·4–19·1 g. One of the few members of genus that lacks colourful plumage. Nominate race is mainly dark lead-grey on head and back, slightly paler... read more


    Song of c. 15 notes, a short fast series of “tsst” that gradually slows; also described... read more


    Humid forest borders, second growth and disturbed or semi-open areas, gardens, parks, plantations... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods and fruit. In Panama recorded as eating wide variety of small (3–5 mm) fruits, including those of Tetracera (... read more


    All information from Panama. Season Mar–Aug. At one nest two nestlings fed by four adults, which visited together. Nest a tidy cup of light... read more


    Resident. Reported seasonal variation in numbers in C Panama, suggesting some regional movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common in much of range. Found in several protected areas, including Metropolitan, Soberanía, Chagres and Darién National Parks (... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2020). Plain-colored Tanager (Tangara inornata). 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 27 February 2020).