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Flame-rumped Tanager - BirdForum Opus

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Female of the variant with orange throat
Photo by Aralcal
Aralcal, Colombia, 2009.
Ramphocelus flammigerus

Includes: Yellow-rumped Tanager/Lemon-rumped Tanager


Males are mostly black with lower back, rump and uppertail coverts either lemony yellow (subspecies icteronotus) or the same area warmer yellow to orange, crimson, or scarlet (subspecies flammigerus). The birds with less scarlet have been interpreted as hybrids or intergrades.

Male of the yellow-rumped subspecies icteronotus
Photo by Stanley Jones
Canopy Lodge in El Valle de Antón, Coclé Province, Panama. February 2011

Females are mostly olive-grey above and in head, yellow below and on lower back and rump; subspecies differ in tone with icteronotus showing a rather cold lemony yellow, flammigerus a warmer yellow that can approach orange. The majority of flammigerus females show a reddish-orange band across the lower throat.


Western Panama, Colombia and extreme western Ecuador at low to middle elevations.



male of subspecies flammigerus. Photo by Oregonian
Near Manizales, Caldas, Colombia, May 2004

Two subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • flammigerus:
  • Exclusively in Colombia and preferring middle elevations
  • icteronotus:

The two subspecies have in the past been viewed as two different species, and Restall[3] argues quite strongly that they should be seen that way again, and that contrary to earlier reports, the variation seen in lower elevation Flame-rumped Tanager (subspecies flammigerus) is not a proof of hybridization.

Subspecies icteronotus as a full species has been called Yellow-rumped Tanager or Lemon-rumped Tanager.


Variable: includes primary forest and edges, second growth, overgrown areas, gardens and parks. Subspecies icteronotus seems excluded from the primary forest.


Mostly occur in small flocks.


Female of subspecies icteronotus (with Green Honeycreeper). Photo by Ecuadorrebel
Milpe Bird Sanctuary, Ecuador, September 2010

Feeds on fruit, invertebrates, etc.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Ridgely & Gwynne 1989. Birds of Panama. Princeton Paperbacks. ISBN 0691025126
  3. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156

Recommended Citation

External Links

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