Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo)


French: Tangara à bec d’argent German: Purpurtangare Spanish: Tangara picoplata

Lanius (Carbo

) Pallas

, 1764,



See R. melanogaster (above) and R. bresilius (below). Eight subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. c. capitalis J. A. Allen, 1892 – NE Venezuela (Anzoátegui E to Paria Peninsula, S to Monagas and Delta Amacuro).
  • R. c. magnirostris Lafresnaye, 1853 – SE Sucre, in NE Venezuela; Trinidad.
  • R. c. venezuelensis Lafresnaye, 1853 – E base of Andes in N & W Venezuela (Falcón E to Miranda, S to Táchira) and Colombia (Arauca, Boyacá).
  • R. c. unicolor P. L. Sclater, 1856 – E base of Andes in Colombia (from Casanare region S to Meta).
  • R. c. carbo (Pallas, 1764) – SE Colombia, E Ecuador, E Peru (S to Ucayali), Venezuela S of R Orinoco, the Guianas, and N, W & C Brazil (S to N Mato Grosso).
  • R. c. connectens Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1896 – SE Peru and adjacent NW Bolivia.
  • R. c. atrosericeus d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837 – N & E Bolivia.
  • R. c. centralis Hellmayr, 1920 – E Brazil (C Mato Grosso E to Bahia, Minas Gerais and N São Paulo) S to NE Paraguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; 21·5–27 g (atrosericeus), 23·5–37·5 g (other races). Dark tanager with heavy bill, lower mandible greatly expanded... read more


    Dawn song (occasionally later in day) an energetic and semi-musical but rather repetitive series of... read more


    Bushy forest borders, overgrown clearings, second growth, shrubbery around habitations, and bushy... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods and fruit; occasionally eats flowers (possibly for nectar) or drinks nectar. About half of diet is fruit, especially melastome... read more


    Breeding reported in Jan–Mar in E Colombia, Apr and May in Venezuela, Dec–Sept in Trinidad, Dec–Aug in Suriname and Jul and Aug in French... read more


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common and widespread E of Andes and across Amazonia. Occurs in parks and reserves throughout its range, and is found also in vast areas of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hilty, S. (2019). Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo). 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 13 December 2019).