The Flame-faced Tanager has a bright orange forehead and cheeks which grade to yellow on the rest of the head. It has a black throat and ear patcher. The upperparts are black with a greenish-yellow shoulder patch and yellow and greenish-buff rump. The underparts are greenish-buff grading to rufous toward the belly. It is similar to the Saffron-crowned Tanager but is distinguished by having a black back and greenish buff underparts.
Flame-faced Tanager (Tangara parzudakii parzudakii), (Lafresnaye), 1843. E Andes of Colombia (W slope from Santander to Cundinamarca and head of Magdalena Valley in Huila; E slope probably throughout, but recorded only Meta, Caquetá, Putumayo and Nariño) and E slope in Ecuador.
(Tangara parzudakii urubambae), J. T. Zimmer, 1943. E slope of Andes in Peru (S to Cuzco and Ayacucho).
Flame-faced Tanagers are found only in the eastern Andes Mountains from southwest Venezuela to central Peru,
The Flame-face Tanager is common in montane forests of the east slope of the Andes at elevations ranging between 1100-2500 m.a.s.l. where they join mixed-species flocks with birds such as wintering Scarlet Tanagers.
Like other tanagers, the Flame-faced Tanager eats a variety of fruits and insects. This species tends to forage along horizontal, moss-covered tree branches, probing the moss for insects and even pulling pieces away to uncover prey. They are often seen foraging in pairs.
Flame-faced Tanagers readily visit fruit feeders, and birders can spot them at several ABC-supported reserves that provide habitat for some of the world’s rarest bird species.
Flame-faced Tanagers are fairly quiet when nesting and exhibit little if any territorial behavior. This stealthy species has been discovered nesting in open habitats such as pastures or forest edges, but it also nests in forests.
Although details about this species’ behavior are scanty, some interesting facts are known. For example, nesting Flame-faced Tanager parents rapidly probe the nesting material under and around their chicks. Researchers believe this may help to remove fleas and other parasites from the nest, protecting the nestlings.