Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Near Threatened

Purplish-mantled Tanager (Iridosornis porphyrocephalus)


French: Tangara à cape bleue German: Purpurmantel-Bergtangare Spanish: Tangara capiazul

Iridornis porphyrocephala

P. L. Sclater

, 1856,

neighbourhood of Quito, Ecuador


Closely related to I. analis, and sometimes treated as conspecific; indeed, evidence for treatment as separate species needs assembling and evaluating. Monotypic.


Colombia (entire W slope and very locally on E slope of W Andes, also W slope of C Andes in Antioquia) S to NW Ecuador (Carchi, Imbabura and NW Pichincha). Uncertain record from S Ecuador (Loja)#R.

Descriptive notes

14 cm; three males 20·3–23 g, one female 21·5 g. Unmistakable tanager, mostly dark blue with yellow throat, and short thick bill. Has base of forehead,... read more


Calls (in Colombia) include high, slightly raspy “tsit”, sometimes accelerating into trill.... read more


Very wet mossy forest, tall second growth, and along openings or borders in forest; a few records... read more

Food and feeding

Berries and insects. Single individuals, pairs or families follow mixed tanager flocks or forage alone, 2–10 m up inside or at edge... read more


In Colombia, begging young with two adults in Jul in Cauca (Cerro Munchique) and nine breeding-condition birds in May–Jun at N end of W... read more


Presumed resident. The records at unusually high and low elevations in Cauca and Antioquia, in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Chocó EBA. Rare to locally fairly common in Colombia; very rare in Ecuador... read more

Recommended citation

Hilty, S. (2019). Purplish-mantled Tanager (Iridosornis porphyrocephalus). 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 May 2019).