Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola)

November 13, 2021 Birds from Colombia, My Solo Trip

In the central mountain range of Colombia, I found a tree full of fruits, and there among many other species, was the beautiful Bay-headed tanager (Tangara gyrola). The entire tree vibrated because of the significant number of birds and because they were very noisy.

This tanager, perhaps one of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen, has green wings, a redhead, a bright blue chest, and a yellow back. It was challenging to photograph. It jumped between the branches looking for the juiciest fruits and the tiny insects hidden among the moss and lichens and under the leaves.

It is found in Costa Rica, Panama to South America, Colombia, Bolivia, and Brazil. They are very social birds and fly in pairs or mixed groups with other birds. Both males and females have similar colors, and only juveniles have their feathers in more muted tones. The coloring can vary according to the subspecies, but they always keep the redhead and green wings. One subspecies is the Tangara gyrola; Toddy is found in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Venezuela and has a green breast.


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