Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Spangle-cheeked Tanager (Tangara dowii)


French: Calliste pailleté German: Glanzfleckentangare Spanish: Tangara caripinta

Calliste dowii


, 1863,

San José, Costa Rica


See T. vassorii. Has been considered conspecific with T. fucosa (which see). Monotypic.


Mountains of Costa Rica (from E Guanacaste and S Alajuela) E to W Panama (Chiriquí and Veraguas).

Descriptive notes

12 cm; 20 g. Small tanager with rather “unkempt”, spangled appearance. Male has head to throat and back dull black, with rufous spot on central hindcrown; nape,... read more


Calls include high, thin “tsip” or “seek”, often accelerating into fast... read more


Mossy humid and wet forest, forest edges, and second growth and taller trees in clearings adjacent... read more

Food and feeding

Fruits and insects. Observed to take wide variety of small fruits and berries, including Gaiadendron (Loranthaceae), several... read more


Breeding reported Apr–Aug in Costa Rica. Nest a bulky cup of green liverworts and mosses mixed with variety of dry fibres, sometimes... read more


Resident. Some minor seasonal elevational movements may occur in response to fruit availability.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBA. Fairly common to locally common in Costa Rica; decidedly less numerous and... read more

Recommended citation

Hilty, S. (2020). Spangle-cheeked Tanager (Tangara dowii). 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).