Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bulletin 246 - Ecuador #8 - Tanagers

The tanager family is a huge New World family of generally colorful birds. We have seen many in previous bulletins from Panama and Costa Rica. Here are some new ones I photographed in Ecuador.

The common Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus) comes in a variant with white on the wings and tail. This is known as the eastern race.

Blue-gray Tanager - eastern form
One of my favorite groups is the genus ramphocelus. These are generally black and red birds. I found 2 new species in Ecuador. The Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo) is a dark cherry red with a silver lower mandible.

Silver-beaked Tanager - male
The male Lemon-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus icternotus) is all black with a bright yellow lower back and rump.

Lemon-rumped Tanager - male
The Fawn-breasted Tanager (Pipraeidea melanonota) is blue and black above, beige below and has a red eye.

Fawn-breasted Tanager
The Golden-crowned Tanager (Iridosornis rufivertex) has a black head with gold crown, purple back, bluish wings and rufous undertail.

Golden-crowned Tanager

The Blue-backed Conebill (Conirostrum sitticolor) has a black head and throat, rufous underparts and blue back and wings.

Blue-backed Conebill
The Masked Flowerpiercer (Diglossa cyanea) is a beautiful royal blue with a black mask and red eye. He has a hook on the end of his upper beak that he uses to open flowers at their base and directly obtain the nectar.

Masked Flowerpiercer
Lastly are some tangara genus tanagers which are generally very colorful. We can only wish we had some of these beauties in our yards.

The Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus) is orange-gold with a black spot on the neck and black wings.

Golden Tanager

The Green-and-gold Tanager (Tangara schrankii) is exactly as described with a black face.

Green-and-gold Tanager

The Golden-eared Tanager (Tangara chrysotis) is also green and gold, but he has an orange cheek patch and rufous belly.

Golden-eared Tanager

The Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanicollis) is black with a blue head and neck.

Blue-necked Tanager
The Spotted Tanager (Tangara punctata) is mostly green with black spots.

Lastly is a bird I had really wanted to see as it was a lifer. Unfortunately it doesn't come to feeders and I didn't get a great photo. This is the gaudy Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis). He has an apple green head, blue underparts, red rump and the rest is black.

Paradise Tanager
Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2015 David McDonald

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