White-lined tanager

White-lined tanager
Tachyphonus rufus

Photo by Louis des Tombe (Birds of Suriname)

Common name:
white-lined tanager (en); pipira-preta (pt); tangara à galons blancs (fr); frutero chocolatero (es); schwarztangare (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Thraupidae

This species is found from Costa Rica, through Colombia, Venezuela and the Guyanas and south to Peru, eastern Brazil and northern Argentina. They are also found in Trinidad and Tobago and are mostly absent from the upper Amazon basin.

These birds are 18-19 cm long and weigh around 33 g.

The white-lined tanager is mostly found in open or semi-open habitats, namely scrublands, dry savannas and along forest edges, but also in arable land and gardens. they are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

They mostly eat fruits, namely those of epiphytic plants, but also nectar, buds and insects such as beetles, ants and grasshoppers.

White-lined tanagers and solitary, territorial nesters. The nest is a bulky cup, made of grasses and dead leaves, placed in a low scrub or tree, not very far from the ground. The female lays 2-3 creamy eggs with brown blotches, which she incubates alone for 13-15 days. The chicks fledge around 15 days after hatching. Each pair usually raises 2 broods per year.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common but patchily distributed. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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