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Brown tanager

Brown tanager
at Itatiaia National Park, Brazil.
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Orchesticus
Cabanis, 1851
O. abeillei
Binomial name
Orchesticus abeillei
(Lesson, 1839)

Pyrrhula abeillei (protonym)

The brown tanager (Orchesticus abeillei) is a small South American bird in the tanager family Thraupidae. It is the only member of the genus Orchesticus.

The brown tanager is about 17 cm (6+34 in) in length and weighs about 31.5 g. As suggested by its name, the plumage is overall brown. The bill is relatively thick. It is endemic to humid Atlantic forest of south-eastern Brazil at altitudes of 900–1,500 m (3,000–4,900 ft). It forages in the canopy and is typically seen in pairs. It is generally uncommon, but known from several protected areas, such as the Itatiaia National Park.

It will catch insects in the air; in a manner often referred to as sallying. It will also take insects directly off plants.

It lays 2 eggs with a pinkish hue. The larger end of the egg is speckled with brown and lavender.


The brown tanager was formally described in 1839 by the French naturalist René Lesson under the binomial name Pyrrhula abeillei.[2] The species was moved to its own monospecific genus Orchesticus in 1851 by the German ornithologist Jean Cabanis.[3] The type locality is Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.[4] The genus name is from the Ancient Greek orkhēstikos meaning "good at dancing". The specific epithet abeillei was chosen to honour the French collector and naturalist M. Abeillé.[5] Within the Thraupidae the brown tanager is placed with the yellow-shouldered grosbeak in the subfamily Orchesticinae.[6] The species is monotypic: no subspecies are recognised.[7]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2018). "Orchesticus abeillei". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22722117A132150099. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22722117A132150099.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  2. ^ Lesson, René (1844). "Oiseaux rares ou nouveaux de la collection du Docteur Abbeillé, à Bordeaux". Revue Zoologique (in French). 2 (Part 2): 40–43 [40–41].
  3. ^ Cabanis, Jean (1850–1851). Museum Heineanum : Verzeichniss der ornithologischen Sammlung des Oberamtmann Ferdinand Heine, auf Gut St. Burchard vor Halberstadt (in German and Latin). Vol. 1. Halberstadt: R. Frantz. p. 143.
  4. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1970). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 13. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 247.
  5. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 29, 283. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  6. ^ Burns, K.J.; Shultz, A.J.; Title, P.O.; Mason, N.A.; Barker, F.K.; Klicka, J.; Lanyon, S.M.; Lovette, I.J. (2014). "Phylogenetics and diversification of tanagers (Passeriformes: Thraupidae), the largest radiation of Neotropical songbirds". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 75: 41–77. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.02.006. PMID 24583021.
  7. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2020). "Tanagers and allies". IOC World Bird List Version 10.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 24 November 2020.

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Brown tanager
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