Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Red-shouldered Tanager (Tachyphonus phoenicius)


French: Tangara à galons rouges German: Rotschultertangare Spanish: Tangara de galones

Tachyphonus phœnicius


, 1838,

Bioko; error = possibly east Peru


Sister to the sisters T. coronatus and T. rufus. Molecular evidence identifies two clades N and S of R Amazon, and thesis dating from 1981 proposed three new subspecies for this species; review currently under way#R. Monotypic.


Three geographically separated populations. E Colombia E locally to S Venezuela, the Guianas and N Brazil (N Roraima and N Amapá); NE Peru (W Loreto S of R Marañón S to San Martín and N R Ucayali); Brazil mostly S of R Amazon (locally on N bank) between R Madeira and R Tapajós, S to NW Mato Grosso and, perhaps discontinuously, to N Bolivia (E Pando, N Beni#R).

Descriptive notes

15 cm; 17–25 g. Male is almost entirely glossy blue-black, with white underwing-coverts; small amount of red mixed with white at bend of wing and on marginal wing-coverts (... read more


Song, in SE Venezuela (1400 m), a musical but rather repetitive and medium-pitched “cheurt- che’e’e... read more


Occurs predominantly in white-sand or other sandy-soil zones with savanna, scattered high bushes,... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods and small fruits. Of nine stomachs examined, two contained only vegetable matter and seven only animal matter; contents included... read more


Breeding reported in Feb and Mar in Suriname. Grassy cup-nest built on ground and concealed in grass or near bushes in Suriname. Clutch 1–2... read more


Probably resident; no local or migratory movements reported. Breeders in N Argentina possibly... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to fairly common, but often quite local; generally found at low density. Each of three geographically isolated populations... read more

Recommended citation

Hilty, S. (2020). Red-shouldered Tanager (Tachyphonus phoenicius). 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).