Black and Yellow Tanager (Chrysothlypis chrysomelaena)

The Black and Yellow Tanager (Chrysothlypis chrysomelaena) is a Central American Tanager.


The Black-and-yellow Tanager averages 12 cm in length and weighs around 12.5g.

The adult male has a bright yellow head, rump and underparts, and a black back, wings and tail. The wing linings are white.

The female has olive upperparts and yellow underparts, becoming white on the belly. She could be mistaken for a warbler, but has white tufts at the sides of the breast.

Immatures resemble the adult female, but are yellower below, especially on the belly.

Distribution and Habitat:

An endemic resident breeder in the hills of Costa Rica and Panama. It makes its home in the foothills and slopes on the Caribbean side of the central mountain ranges, typically from 600 m to 1200 m altitude, and occasionally down to 400 m.

The preferred habitat is the canopy of wet forest and tall second growth, but it will feed lower at woodland edges and clearing. Black-and-yellow Tanagers occur in small groups, or as part of a mixed-species feeding flock.


The neat cup nest is built on a tree branch.


This species feeds on small fruit, usually swallowed whole, insects and spiders.

Photo of author

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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