Silver-throated Tanagers

The Silver-throated Tanagers (Tangara icterocephala) is a medium-sized passerine bird that is about 13 cm long and weighs 21g.

The male is mainly yellow, with black streaks down its back, and a whitish throat bordered above with a black malar (cheek) stripe. The wings and tail are black with pale green edgings.

Males and females look alike, but adult females have duller and greener-tinged yellow plumage, and sometimes dark mottling on the crown.

Immatures are much duller and greener, with dusky wings, tail, back streaks and malar (cheek) stripe, a grey throat and darker green wing edging.

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Distribution and Habitat

This tanager is a resident breeder in the highlands from Costa Rica to western Ecuador. Common from about 600 m to 1700 m altitude in the lower and middle levels of wet mountain forests and adjacent semi-open areas like clearings with shade trees, second growth and woodland edges.

In the heavy rains of the wet season, it will descend to sea level.

Nesting / Breeding

The compact cup nest is built 1-13 m high in a tree on a branch. The normal clutch is two brown-blotched off-white eggs.

This species will raise two broods in a season Silver-throated Tanagers occur in pairs, small groups, or as part of a mixed-species feeding flock.


They eat small fruit, usually swallowed whole, insects and spiders.

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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