Exploring the elegance of the scarlet and white tanager

Fabulous looking, to say the least, the male looks, unlike any other South American bird, glowing in a blanket of deep red plumage. Meet the Scarlet and White Tanager


The male scarlet and white tanager (Chrysothlypis salmoni) is a very distinctive bird with a bright scarlet head, throat and back measuring around 12 cm (4.7 in) long and weighing between 9.8 and 14, 5 grams (0.35 to 0.51 oz). Its wings are a darker red, with brown to black flight feathers. There is a median scarlet stripe running down its chest and belly, with the remaining area being white. The lower covers are also scarlet.


Females are olive brown on the back with white underparts, along with dark wings and a dark brown tail.

Juvenile birds look very similar to adult females.

This bird is found and endemic to Colombia and northern Ecuador.


The scarlet and white tanager likes to live in and around tropical or subtropical moist lowland forests and heavily degraded former forest areas.


These birds feed on fruits and arthropods; It is believed that their diet is made up of 58% fruits and the rest are small arthropods.


Little is known about the reproductive habits of the scarlet and white tanager, although chicks have been seen in April and May. It is believed that previous hatchlings may also help in the nest.


Primarily due to its large range, the scarlet and white tanager is classified as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on the IUCN Red List.


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