Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bulletin 284 - Colombia #7 - Tanagers part 2

Pablo Florez, the main guide, has co-written a book where to bird in Colombia. In it, he has a list of the Top 30 Most Sought-after Birds by a group of 40 birders visiting Colombia. I saw 12 of them on the trip and got photos of 10. When I show one of these birds,  I will mention its placement on the list.

As everyone knows, the tanager family (Thraupidae) has some of the most colorful birds. In the first part we saw a number of them, so here are the rest from this remarkable trip.

The Bangsia genus consists of just 5 species of tanagers. These are birds of the mountains and until recently some of them have been rarely seen. These tanagers have relatively short tails. One of them is resident in Costa Rica and Panama, the Blue-and-gold Tanager. I saw and photographed it earlier this year. in Costa Rica. The other 4 are in Colombia and 2 are endemic and we saw both at Tatama National Park in the cloud forest.

The 6" Black-and-gold Tanager (Bangsia melanochlamys) is more common than the next one, but it still is an uncommon bird and is #8 on the list of most sought after birds in Colombia. It is listed as vulnerable.  This was a lifer.

Black-and-gold Tanager 
The 6" Gold-ringed Tanager (Bangsia aureocincta) is perhaps the most famous tanager in Colombia as it is on the cover of both 'Field Guide to Birds of Columbia' and 'Birdwatching in Colombia'.. In the Steven Hilty 1986 classic "Guide to the Birds of Colombia", he says this bird is poorly known from only 2 mountainous areas. It is listed as endangered and is #5 on the list of most sought-after birds in Colombia. The male is green with a black head and an incomplete gold ring on sides of head. This was a lifer.

Gold-ringed Tanager - male
The female is similar, except the black of head is replaced by green.

Gold-ringed Tanager - female
The 7" Blue-capped Tanager (Thraupis cyanocephala) is blue and yellow. It is much more colorful than the illustration in the guide books. This was a lifer. 

Blue-capped Tanager
The 7" Purplish-mantled Tanager (Iridosornis porphyrocephalus) has a purple hood and yellow throat. This was a lifer.

Purplish-mantled Tanager
The next one is a bird that I have loved the photo in the guide books for 20 years and finally I saw it on this trip. It is the 6" Swallow Tanager (Tersina viridis). The male is turquoise with a black face and a pale blue belly with some horizontal black streaks on flanks.

Swallow Tanager - male

The female is green and she lacks the black face.

 Swallow Tanager - female
The tangara genus of small tanagers are often the most colorful and here are 2 from the trip. Both were birds I had seen before. The 5" Plain-colored Tanager (Tangara inornata) as the name suggests is the exception to the rule. It is gray with a blue wing patch.

Plain-colored Tanager
The 5" Scrub Tanager (Tangara vitriolina) is aqua with a rufous cap.

Scrub Tanager
Finally, flowerpiercers are tanagers with a specialized hooked upper beak for making holes in the base of flowers and directly getting the nectar. 2 of them were colorful on this trip. The 6" Masked Flowerpiercer (Diglossa cyanea) is bright blue with a black mask and bright red eye.

Masked Flowerpiercer
The 5" Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer (Diglossa gloriosissima) is black with a rufous belly. This endangered species is endemic to Colombia and found only on two mountain tops. This bird was photographed at Tatama National Park. 

Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer

I have updated my tanager family photos and have 97 of the 370 species here.

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2017 David McDonald

To have these trip reports sent to your email, please email me at the above address and ask to subscribe.

No comments: