Masked Crimson Tanagers

The male Masked Crimson Tanagers (Ramphocelus nigrogularis) are colorful birds with brown beaks and black faces that contrast with their crimson heads and underparts. The rest of their bodies are black except their lower beaks (jaws), which have white spots.

Females and juvenile males have brown plumage.

Masked Crimson Tanagers are between 18 and 19cm (7-7.5 inches) long.

Distribution / Habitat

These birds have a range in the Amazon Basin that includes parts of Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil.

They like dense lowland and flooded forests and are known to stay close to water.

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Diet / Feeding

These birds feed on fruits, nectar, buds and leaves. They are often seen feeding in upside down positions while tearing off the pulp of the Cecropia tree’s fruit. The seeds that come from this fruit seem to germinate better after they have passed through the Tanager’s digestive system.

Masked Crimson Tanager (Ramphocelus nigrogularis)

Call / Song

Masked Crimson Tanagers live in noisy groups of three to twelve individuals.


During mating season, males will attract females by tilting their heads vertically to display their colorful chests.

Females build the nests and produce 2 to 3 eggs.

Parents, as well as older offspring, bring food to the nests after the eggs hatch.

Masked Crimson Tanagers (Ramphocelus nigrogularis)
Masked Crimson Tanager (Ramphocelus nigrogularis)
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