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Blue-winged Mountain Tanager - BirdForum Opus

Anisognathus somptuosus
Photo by Robert_Scanlon
Near Cali, Colombia, March 2006


Fairly large (18cm., 7in.) tanager with characteristic bright overall coloration.
Yellow breast, which extends to the chin (a diagnostic feature among similar species), Black mask and forehead extends backwards to blend with equally dark back. Bright blue shoulder patches and edges of primaries and tail create a vivid impression. Eye is dark, unlike the most similar species the Black-chinned Mountain Tanager, in which it is bright red.


Fairly common and widespread on both slopes of the Andes in sub-tropics of South America: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.



There are 9 subspecies:

  • A. s. antioquiae: Northern part of Western and Central Andes of Colombia
  • A. s. victorini: Andes of central Colombia to south-western Venezuela (Táchira)
  • A. s. cyanopterus: Western slope of Central Andes of south-western Colombia and western Ecuador
  • A. s. baezae: Eastern slope of Eastern Andes of southern Colombia and eastern Ecuador
  • A. s. venezuelanus : Coastal mountains of northern Venezuela (Yaracuy to Miranda)
  • A. s. virididorsalis: Subtropical northern Venezuela (Golfo de Triste area)
  • A. s. alamoris: Subtropical south-western Ecuador (Cuenca to Loja)
  • A. s. somptuosus: Extreme south-eastern Ecuador (Zamora) to eastern Peru (Junín)
  • A. s. flavinuchus: Subtropical south-eastern Peru (Cuzco) to north-western Bolivia


Borders and canopy of temperate and second growth forests. Observed at heights of 1700 m.


Calm and relatively tame; tolerates disturbances.


Forages quite low in small groups, typically 8-10 individuals. Regularly comes out onto borders and clearings, where it can easily be observed.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. BF Member observations

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