BIRD OF THE WEEK: 8/1/2014
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Tangara seledon
HABITAT: Humid lowland forests of southeast Brazil, Paraguay, and northeast Argentina
Like most tanagers, including the Gilt-edged Tanager, our Bird of the Week is an animated work of art. Featuring swaths of turquoise, yellow-orange, lime green, violet, and black, the male Green-headed Tanager brightens forests as well as orchards and parks.
While some tanagers are skilled vocalists, the Green-headed Tanager simply chirps (as the above recording of birds on a bird feeder in Brazil suggests).
Although this tanager is widely distributed within its Atlantic Forest range, this habitat is threatened by deforestation, and only about eight percent of the original habitat remains. Green-headed Tanagers share the Atlantic Forest with the critically endangered Stresemann's Bristlefront, threatened Banded Cotinga, and more common Brazilian Tanager.
Green-headed Tanagers forage through the canopy in small flocks, either on their own or in association with a larger mixed-species flock. Their diet is a mixture of fruits and insects, taken as the bird actively moves through the upper canopy.
Like others in its genus, a breeding pair is assisted by “helpers,” probably young from previous broods. Females resemble males but are duller-colored.
ABC and our partner REGUA are working to preserve Atlantic Forest habitat at the Guapi Assu Reserve in southeast Brazil, where visitors can see the Green-headed Tanager and many other species found nowhere else.
In winter, the Blackpoll Warbler, a long-distance migrant that breeds as far north as the boreal forest of Canada, can be found in the reserve as well.