Return of Bird of the Week: Green-and-Gold Tanager

Another ridiculously colorful tanager, this one from Southern Ecuador. This is the Green-and-Gold Tanager.

Green and Gold Tanager, Southern Ecuador

Green-and-Gold Tanager, Southern Ecuador

This is another one of those birds that, when you get it in your binoculars in good light, makes your eyes water. Only the Paradise Tanager is more colorful, and it isn’t as brightly colored. Most birders, seeing it for the first time, simply gasp.

Green and Gold Tanager, Southern Ecuador

Green and Gold Tanager, Southern Ecuador

This species occurs one the easterly slopes of the Andes and in western Amazonia, where it is found from southeastern Colombia and southern Venezuela south to northern Bolivia and western Brazil. It is a fairly common species in the lowlands, typically found below 900 meters, where it forages in mixed-species flocks. Happily, it is enthusiastic about fruit feeding stations, which is where these photos were taken.

The species is omnivorous, with a diet that includes fruits (mostly berries) and insects. Even for a Neotropic species, there is very little published research information about the Green-and-gold Tanager. But the wide distribution and omnivorous diet likely mean the species is not in any immediate danger.

Like many of the tanagers WC has posted here, this is a member of the genus Tangara, which may have as many as 45 species. WC has only photographed about a third of them.

For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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