Monday, 21 May 2012

Speckled tanager

Tangara guttata

Photo by Ruben Campos (Focus on Nature)

Common name:
speckled tanager (en); saíra-pintada (pt); calliste tiqueté (fr); tangara pintada (es) tropfentangare (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Thraupidae

This species is found from Costa Rica south to northern Colombia, Venezuela and marginally across the border into northern Brazil and Guyana.

These birds are 12-14 cm long and weigh 15-21 g.

The speckled tanager is found in the canopies and borders of rainforests, in secondary woodlands and sometimes in cocoa and coffee plantations and rural gardens. They are present at altitudes of 300-2.000 m.

They mostly eat small fruits, especially of Euphorbiaceae and Melastomaceae, but will also eat mistletoe fruits, pieces of larger fruits and seeds. They will also take some insects and spiders.

Speckled tanagers breed in April-July. The nest is an open cup made of leaves and plant fibres, and lined with hairs and fungal hyphae. The nest is placed in a small tree, 3-8 m above the ground. The female lays 2 heavily mottled white eggs, which she incubates alone for 13-14 days while receiving food from the male. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 14-15 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as fairly common. Although some populations have been affected by deforestation, the speckled tanager can easily adapt to secondary forests, so population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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