Black-goggled Tanager perched

The black-goggled tanager (Trichothraupis melanops) is a species of bird in the family, Thraupidae. It is the only member of the genus Trichothraupis. It is found at low levels in forest and woodland in a large part of eastern and southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and far north-eastern Argentina, with a disjunct population along the East Andean slope in Peru, Bolivia and far north-western Argentina. While generally common and widespread, and consequently considered to be of least concern by IUCN, the population associated with the Andes is relatively local and uncommon. The underparts are tawny, the back and head are dull brownish-olive, and the tail and wings are contrastingly black (the latter with a white speculum that is difficult to see when perched, but conspicuous in flight). The male has a yellow crown patch and a large black patch around the eyes as seen in this picture (the black “goggles” for which the species is named). Fairly common throughout most of its highly disjunct range, the Black-goggled Tanager is unusual amongst forest-based tanagers in showing extensive white in the primaries in flight. It prefers the undergrowth, is usually found in pairs, and regularly joins mixed-species foraging flocks. In terms of elevational […]

Bananaquit on a flowering branch perched, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

  The bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) is a species of passerine bird of uncertain relation. It is tentatively placed in the tanager family. Its classification is debated, and it is often placed in its own family: Coerebidae. It has recently been suggested the bananaquit should be split into three species, but this has yet to receive widespread recognition. This small, active nectarivore is found in warmer parts of the Americas, and is generally common. The Coerebidae used to contain other nectar-eating birds from the tropical Americas, but these have since been moved. The bananaquit is part of a group that includes Darwin’s finches, Tiaris (grassquits), Loxigilla, etc.—most of which were previously placed in Emberizidae, but are now known to actually be part of the Thraupidae. As such this species is tentatively placed in the family Thraupidae unless a study suggests more accurate placement. Nevertheless, its precise relations remain unresolved, so the American Ornithologists’ Union classes it as a species incertae sedis. The Bananaquit inhabits a variety of habitats from scrubland to tropical lowland forest edge, from the Antilles and Mexico south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Bananaquits are distinctive birds with down-curved bills, black upperparts, bright yellow underparts, and a conspicuous […]

Back pose of a saffron toucanet, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

  The saffron toucanet (Pteroglossus bailloni) is a species of bird in the family Ramphastidae found in the Atlantic Forest in far north-eastern Argentina, south-eastern Brazil, and eastern Paraguay. It is a relatively long-tailed toucan with a total length of 35–40 cm (14–16 in). As suggested by its common name, it is, uniquely among toucans, overall saffron yellow. The back and tail are darker, more olive in color. The rump, ocular skin and patches on the basal half of the otherwise greenish-horn bill are red. The iris is pale yellowish. This species is dimorphic, meaning that males and females have distinguished looks from each other. The adult male has a golden head and breast, olive mantle (the wings, shoulder feathers and back) and red rump. They have a modestly sized bill, with green, grey blue, and yellowish-grey color all along it. Adult females are similar to the male but have more olive and less gold coloration; they also have a shorter bill. A young toucanet is mostly olive and grey colored, with brown eyes and a blotchy bill. The saffron is a large-gape frugivore. Due to their nature, they are especially crucial for plants with larger seeds to disperse themselves […]

Green headed tanager in flight, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

The green headed tanager (Tangara seledon) is a brightly-colored bird found in the Atlantic forest in south-eastern Brazil, far eastern Paraguay, and far north-eastern Argentina (Misiones only). As other members of the genus Tangara, it is a small colorful bird, measuring an average of 13.5 centimeters (5.3 in) and a mass of 18g (0.6 oz). The Green-headed Tanager has a greenish or bluish head, black on the back, and a contrastingly colored, orange or red rump. Females and juvenile birds have similar, though duller coloration. While essentially a bird of humid forests, it is also common in orchards and parks, where it moves through the canopy, making itself inconspicuous, as its apparently flashy blue-green coloration camouflages it well amongst the foliage. They usually travel in small flocks, either on their own or in association with a larger mixed-species flock. The diet consists both of fruit and arthropods; when foraging for arthropods, they hop along slender to medium-sized branches, and glean prey from branch surfaces and from leaves. The sister species to the Green-headed Tanager is the Seven-colored Tanager (Tangara fastuosa), a similar tanager found in northeastern Brazil. Although the behavior and plumage pattern of the Green-headed and Seven-colored tanagers are […]

Brazilian ruby male looking for nectar, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

  The Brazilian ruby (Clytolaema rubricauda) is a species of hummingbird found in forest edge, second growth, gardens and parks in eastern Brazil. It is the only species placed in the genus Clytolaema. Although sometimes placed in the genus Heliodoxa, with the brilliants, the Brazilian Ruby is more typically treated as the sole member of a monotypic genus, Clytolaema, one of a great many hummingbird genera described by John Gould. It is common and among the species regularly seen at hummingbird feeders within its range. It is a relatively large hummingbird. Both sexes of this hummingbird are attractive and distinctive. Males are primarily clad in deep green, with a brilliant deep red throat patch, a small but obvious white postocular spot, browner wings, and a bright red tail, while females share the spot behind the eye and the tail color of the male, but are otherwise rich orange over the entire underparts and on the rump. The male is overall green with a coppery back and rump, a coppery-rufous tail and, as suggested by its common name, a highly iridescent ruby throat that can appear black from some angles. Females are green above and cinnamon below. Both sexes have a […]