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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Puerto Rican Tanager Nesospingus speculiferus

Alcides L. Morales
Version: 1.0 — Published February 24, 2012


Distribution in the Americas

Endemic to the island of Puerto Rico, where it is a restricted range species. The Puerto Rican Tanager occurs in montane areas, from slightly below 300 m (Raffaele et al. 1998) up to 1338 m. It has been recorded from mid to high elevations in the municipalities of Mayaguez, Maricao, San Germán, Las Marías, Ponce, Utuado, Ciales, Jayuya, Comerío, Aibonito, Barranquitas, Cayey, Canovanas, Río Grande, Luquillo, Fajardo, Orocovis, Naguabo, Ceiba, Las Piedras, Patillas and Guayama.

Distribution outside the Americas

Not found outside the island of Puerto Rico.


The Puerto Rican Tanager is found exclusively at mid to high elevations in subtropical wet forests, subtropical rain forest, subtropical lower montane forest, and subtropical lower montane rain forest. It inhabits mature and second growth forests, pine and mahogany plantations with a well developed native midstory (Cruz 1987, Collazo and Bonilla 1988) and shade coffee plantations. Puerto Rican Tanagers were found significantly more often in forest gaps than in the understory, based on a study at El Verde (Wunderle 1995).

Historical changes

The species might have had a wider distribution over the Cordillera Central throughout Puerto Rico, but large scale deforestation to clear land for agriculture during the early twentieth century may have restricted it to the Luquillo, Cayey and Maricao mountain ranges, with isolated populations on the higher peaks of the Cordillera Central.

Fossil history

Multiple owl pellets contained the bones of this species have been found in caves in Morovis, in the north-central portion of the island (Wetmore 1927).

Distribution of the Puerto Rican Tanager - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Puerto Rican Tanager

Recommended Citation

Morales, A. L. (2012). Puerto Rican Tanager (Nesospingus speculiferus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.purtan1.01