White-lined tanager in exhibit

White-lined Tanager

Scientific Name

Tachyphonus rufus






Central and South America, from Costa Rica to northern Argentina, Trinidad, and Tobago


Forest edges and semi-open areas, including parklands and gardens

Estimated Wild Population

White-lined tanager in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

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Physical Description

Medium-sized songbirds, white-lined tanagers are sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females differ in appearance. They are paler in comparasion to other tanagers—males have black plumage and white markings beneath their wings while females have rich auburn plumage. These birds feed on fruit, seeds, and insects.

Interesting Fact 1

Although known as shy and quiet birds, their song is bouncy and chattery and filled with repetitive "cheep-chooi" sounds.

Interesting Fact 2

Their genus name, tachyphonus, derives from a Greek word meaning "fast speaking."

Interesting Fact 3

Breeding pairs are very territorial, often excluding other white-lined tanagers from their area.

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