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Rufous-headed Tanager - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Xyko Paludo
Campina Grande do Sul, PR, Brasil, November, 2016
Hemithraupis ruficapilla


13 cm.


Photo © by Rodrigo Conte
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, February 2016
  • Olive-green upperparts
  • Yellow rump
  • Rufous head
  • Yellow behind the ear-coverts
  • Grey underparts
  • Rufous breast
  • Yellow in the centre of the belly


  • Similar to male but with plain olive-green upperparts and yellow breast
  • Indistinguishable from female Guira Tanager


South America: found only in southeastern Brazil.
A locally fairly common species. The subspecies bahiae is only poorly known.


A sister-species to Guira Tanager, hybrids occur in the small contact zone.


Two subspecies are recognized1:

  • H. r. ruficapilla:
  • South-eastern Brazil (southern Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo to Santa Catarina)
  • H. r. bahiae:
  • Eastern Brazil (south-eastern Bahia)

The subspecies differ only minimally.


Moist lowland forests, and montanes. Also in second growth and plantations.
Occurs from sea-level up to c. 1500 m. In the small contact zone with Guira Tanager this species is found in wetter and more densely forested areas.



Feeds mostly on small arthropods but takes also some fruit.
Usually seen in pairs, families or small groups, often in mixed-species flocks. An active, restless bird, foraging mainly in the canopy and in the upper levels of the forest.


A female carrying nest material into a small hole in a hanging clump of Tillandsia was seen in October. No other information about breeding.


This is a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2016)
  3. Arthur Grosset

Recommended Citation

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