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Scarlet-rumped Tanager - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 19:19, 29 December 2022 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links: New combined GSearch. GSearch checked template. Additional GSearch for Cherrie's)
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Photo © by HelenB
EcoCentro Danaus, near the Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica.

Includes Passerini's Tanager and Cherrie's Tanager

Ramphocelus passerinii


Photo © by Ian Hardy
Garden House Observatory, Costa Rica 4 March 2019

16 cm (6¼ in)

  • Black 0verall plumage
  • Scarlet rump
  • Silvery bill
  • Dark red iris

Female - grey head, olive upperparts becoming brighter and paler on the rump, brownish wings and tail; ochre underparts.

Female of subspecies costaricensis
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Si Como No Lodge in Quepos, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica, March 2007


Males are virtually identical in the two subspecies but females differ with the females of subspecies costaricensis brighter (orange) on especially rump and breast while females of passerinii are less olive and more yellow especially on underside.


Caribbean and Pacific lowlands from southern Mexico to western Panama.


Female of subspecies costaricensis
Photo © by rdavis
Cao Negro, Costa Rica, 6 December 2015

The Scarlet-rumped Tanager was for a while considered two species but the balance of evidence now concludes it is best treated as one. It seems the strongest evidence for the latest change was how the birds react to song from the other subspecies compared to their own.


There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • R. passerinii passerinii:
  • Atlantic slope of Central America, from southern Mexico (southeastern Veracruz and northeastern Oaxaca) to western Panama (Ngäbe-Buglé); also on the Pacific slope in northernmost Costa Rica where the two forms come into contact (formerly Passerini's Tanager)
  • R. passerinii costaricensis:
  • Pacific slope of southern Costa Rica (Puntarenas) and western Panama (formerly Cherrie's Tanager)


Second growth, dense thickets, woodland edges, gardens and pasture with bushes.



They construct a cup-shaped nest, which is placed up to 6 m high in a tree. The clutch contains 2 pale blue or grey eggs, with black, brown or lilac markings. There may be a second brood.


Their diet consists of small fruit, usually swallowed whole, insects and spiders. They forage in pairs, families and groups.


Both calls and song are described as mostly squeaky and harsh.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Title, P. O. and K. J. Burns (2020). Scarlet-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus passerinii), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, P. G. Rodewald, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.y00599.01

Recommended Citation

External Links

Search specifically for Cherrie's Tanager:

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.