Turquoise Tanager (Tangara mexicana): resident bird from Trinidad, Colombia and Venezuela south to Bolivia and most of Brazil, they always stand out in their world because of their brilliant plumage that is a harmonious combination of colors

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Tangara mexicana

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The turquoise tanager is a medium-sized passerine bird. This tanager is a resident bird from Trinidad, Colombia and Venezuela south to Bolivia and much of Brazil. It is restricted to areas with humid forest, with its primary distribution being the Amazon, while a disjunct population occurs in the Atlantic Forest of eastern Brazil.

 

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Appearance

Adult turquoise tanagers are 14 cm long and weigh 20 g. They are long-tailed and with a dark stout pointed bill. The adult is mainly dark blue and black, with turquoise edging to the primaries.

Most races have yellow lower underparts, but this is paler, more cream in the nominate subspecies found in north-eastern South America. The Trinidadian race, “T. m. vieiloti”, has a darker blue head and breast and more vividly yellow underparts than the mainland taxa, but this difference is only obvious compared to the nominate and “brasiliensis”.

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The taxon “brasiliensis” differs conspicuously from all other races, it being larger, having an overall duller blue plumage, blue edging to the primaries and a white belly.

Behavior

These are social birds usually found in groups. They eat a wide variety of fruit and also take insects, often gleaned from twigs. The turquoise tanager’s song is a fast squeaky chatter “tic-tic-tic-tic-tic”.

Habitat

It occurs in forest, woodland and cultivation. The bulky cup nest is built in a tree or shrub, and the female incubates three brown-blotched grey-green eggs.

Pictures and information on Turquoise Tanager

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