Birding Thursday: Grass Green Tanager

Birding Thursday: Grass Green Tanager

The first time I saw this bird I thought he was absolutely gorgeous.

And then, he bit me. And it really hurt. Like, drew blood hurt.

They have very very sharp and strong beaks.  And I believe they know exactly where your cuticles are to cause physical harm!

But, I have to say, this bird is quite amazing. It’s quite large for a tanager and and very very strong.  It’s range extends from Colombia to Bolivia and is primarily found in cloud forests at elevations from 1,500 to 3,400 meters. And it’s the only member in the Chlorons genus!

In the cloud forest they are often seen in groups of 3-6 of a mixed species flock, most other tanagers and small passerines.

Their bodies are completely bright green except for their roufous face and salmon colored beak. They use that beak to feed primarily on fruits and insects throughout the forest, mostly at forest edges and head height.

As far as breeding goes, I couldn’t find much detail other than they use mostly moss and ferns to create their nests, which contain eggs that are grey with light purple/grey spots. I didn’t get to see one of their nests while I was in Peru but believe me when I say I would have had tons of pictures of their nests, eggs and nestlings!

As much as they killed my fingers every time I caught them, they quite possibly were one of my favorite birds out in the forest.  Their call is loud and nasally sounding, quite dominant over the other birds in the area.  And they are extremely loud when in hand, since they obviously don’t like to be handled by us!

Such an angry face!

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One Response to Birding Thursday: Grass Green Tanager

  1. Maggie says:

    Wow…such a beautiful bird! Somehow nearly all the birds I’ve caught that have tried to bite aim for the cuticles…it’s like they know in their little bird brains that cuticles are the weak spot.

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