Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus)


French: Tangara à galons blancs German: Schwarztangare Spanish: Tangara negra

Tangara rufa


, 1783,

Cayenne, French Guiana


This species and T. coronatus are sister-species, and T. phoenicius is sister to both these. Despite extensive range, no regular geographical variation identified. Monotypic.


SE Nicaragua, Costa Rica (Caribbean coast), SW Panama (Caribbean slope and locally on Pacific slope), Colombia (N & NE, including base of Santa Marta Mts, most of Andean region, and locally E of Andes in llanos) and Venezuela (except S, including Margarita I) E to Trinidad and Tobago, the Guianas, and E Brazil (W Mato Grosso S to N Paraná) S to extreme E Bolivia, Paraguay and N Argentina (S to N Buenos Aires); also isolated populations in NW & SE Ecuador and N & SE Peru.

Descriptive notes

17 cm; 25·7–42·5 g. Male is entirely glossy blue-black, except for white underwing-coverts (flash of white when bird in flight); small amount of white at... read more


Infrequently heard song in Venezuela, sometimes given in flight, a bouncy, chattery “chu... read more


A non-forest species found in shrubby clearings, moist and humid forest borders, cultivated areas,... read more

Food and feeding

Of 22 stomachs examined, seven contained only vegetable matter and eleven only animal matter, and four contained both; contents included... read more


Recorded in May in Panama, Feb, Apr, Jun and Oct in Venezuela (Mar–May in upper R Orinoco), Feb–Aug and Nov (mostly Apr–Jun) in Trinidad,... read more


Apparently resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common and reasonably widespread in suitable habitat in Venezuela and Colombia; scarce and local, but perhaps increasing, in Ecuador; widely... read more

Recommended citation

Hilty, S. (2020). White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus). 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).