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  • Common Name (English): Golden Tanager
  • Scientific Name: Tangara arthus


The golden tanager is 12cm long and weighs 17g. Its body is deep golden yellow, with black spots on the cheeks, wings and tail. The belly may be partially brown with a yellow centre (T. a. arthus), or only yellow (T. a. aurulenta). Juveniles are usually paler. There is no sexual dimorphism.

Distribution and habitat

Its distribution extends from Colombia to Bolivia. In Venezuela it is found in the Sierra de Perijá, the Andes from Táchira to Lara, Barinas, Portuguesa, Falcón, Yaracuy, Carabobo, Guarico, Distrito Federal, Miranda, Anzoátegui, Monagas, Amazonas and Bolívar. It is resident in submontane forest, seasonal forest, secondary forest, forest edge and coffee plantations, at elevations of up to 1800 m.

Biology and Conservation

It is observed alone, in pairs and groups of up to 6 individuals, though in Venezuela, groups of 30 individuals have been recorded. It forms mixed flocks, especially with other tanager species. It forages in the high strata of the forest, and is rarely observed below 3m above the ground. Fruits make up more than 50% of the golden tanager’s diet. They seem to prefer the fruits of Miconia, Cecropia, and Ficus.

It also feeds on insects, which it forages on leaves and branches. Males perform displays for the females at the beginning of the reproductive period, with the neck slightly elevated, the tail and wings open and directed downwards, almost touching the ground. This courtship ritual is also accompanied by vocalisations.

During courtship, the males also offer the females materials for nest construction. Both sexes are in charge of selecting the material for the construction of the nest, but only the female actually builds it.

The clutch consists of 1-2 white eggs with pinkish spots. Incubation, which lasts 14-15 days, and parental care is provided by the females. The males remain close to the nests to guard them from intruders. The chicks remain in the nest for 15-17 days. The golden tanager is not globally threatened.

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