Crimson-collared tanager

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Crimson-collared tanager
Ramphocelus sanguinolentus -Belize-8.jpg
In Belize
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Ramphocelus
Species: R. sanguinolentus
Binomial name
Ramphocelus sanguinolentus
(Lesson, 1831)
  • Phlogothraupis sanguinolenta

The crimson-collared tanager (Ramphocelus sanguinolentus) is a rather small Middle American songbird. It was first described by the French naturalist René-Primevère Lesson in 1831, its specific epithet from the Latin adjective sanguinolentus, "bloodied", referring to its red plumage.


This species is sometimes placed in a genus of its own as Phlogothraupis sanguinolenta,[2] and a genetic study suggests that it is less closely related to the other Ramphocelus tanagers than they are to each other.[3] Its closest relative is the masked crimson tanager.[citation needed]


Crimson-collared tanagers average 19–20 cm (7.5–8 in) long. The adult plumage is black with a red collar covering the nape, neck, and breast[2] (remarkably similar to the pattern of the male crimson-collared grosbeak). All tail coverts are also red. The bill is striking pale blue and the legs are blue-gray. In adults, the irides are crimson, contrary to what is shown in Howell and Webb.[2] Females average slightly duller than males, but are sometimes indistinguishable from them. Juvenile birds are similar except that the hood is dull red, the black areas are tinged with brown, and the breast is mottled red and black.[2] Young birds also have a duller bill color.

Crimson-collared tanager in Costa Rica

Vocalizations are high-pitched and sibilant. There are several calls; one rendered as ssii-p is given both when perched and in flight.[2] The song is jerky and consists of two-to-four-note phrases separated by pauses, tueee-teew, chu-chee-wee-chu, teweee.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The crimson-collared tanager ranges from southern Veracruz and northern Oaxaca in Mexico through the Atlantic slope of Central America,[2] to the highlands of western Panama.[4] It inhabits the edges of humid evergreen forests and second growth, where it is often seen in pairs at middle to upper levels.



The nest is a cup built of such materials as moss, rootlets[2] and strips of large leaves such as banana or Heliconia[citation needed], and is placed at middle height in a tree at a forest edge. The female usually lays two eggs, pale blue with blackish spots.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Ramphocelus sanguinolentus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Steve N. G. Howell & Sophie Webb (1995). A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. Oxford University Press. pp. 676–77. ISBN 0-19-854012-4. 
  3. ^ S. J. Hackett (1996). "Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of tanagers in the genus Ramphocelus (Aves)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 5 (2): 368–382. PMID 8728395. doi:10.1006/mpev.1996.0032. 
  4. ^ Hill, Armas (2006). "Panama Birds during FONT Birding & Nature Tours". Focus on Nature Tours. Retrieved 10 July 2006. 
  • F. G. Stiles & A. F. Skutch (1989). A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4.