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Orange-headed Tanager - BirdForum Opus

Photo by AndreSilva
Ribeirão Pires , São Paulo, Brazil, July 2010
Thlypopsis sordida


13cm. A small, drab, thin-billed tanager.

  • Orange-rufous crown and side of head, turning bright yellow on lores, face and throat
  • Sandy-grey upperparts
  • Buff to cinnamon underparts becoming whitish on centre of lower breast, belly and undertail-coverts

Females are duller, especially on crown. Immatures are even duller than females.


South America: found in Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay and Venezuela.
An uncommon to locally common species.


Three subspecies recognized:


It is found in successional vegetation along rivers, in light woodland and cerrado. Rarely or never inside continuous forest.
Up to 100m in Venezuela, up to 400m in Colombia, up to 800m in rest of range.


Feeds on insects, fruit pulp and seeds.
Usually seen in pairs or in small family parties, sometimes in mixed-species flocks.
Forages restlessly.
One nest was found in Argentina in December. It was an open cup, placed 2m above the ground. It contained 2 eggs. Regularly parasitized by Shiny Cowbird. No other information.
Seasonal movements recorded.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2011. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 16: Tanagers to New World Blackbirds. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553781

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