- Common Name (English): Painted Tanager // Speckle Tanager
- Scientific Name: Tangara guttata
The specific epithet guttata comes from the Latin gutta, meaning drop, alluding to the mottled plumage.
It measures 12cm and weighs about 18g. Its body is yellowish green on the crown, bright green on the back and throat, and white on the belly. The whole body except the rump has black spots. This species exhibits no sexual dimorphism.
Distribution and habitat
The painted tanager is present from Costa Rica to Colombia, including the island of Trinidad. In Venezuela, it is found throughout the Andes, Barinas, Falcón, Yaracuy, Cordillera de la Costa, Sucre and Monagas. It is resident from submontane forest to cloud forest, secondary forest, forest edge and coffee plantations, at elevations between 400 and 2200m elevation.
Biology and Conservation
Painted tanagers live in pairs, family groups and small groups of up to 6 individuals, but are rarely solitary. The form mixed flocks with other tanager species, greenfinches, migratory warblers and honeycreepers. They are highly active and always on the move. The painted tanager can be seen in congregation with other fruit-eating birds when they locate a fruiting tree. It forages in the high strata of the forest, although it may descend when it locates bushes bearing fruit. It feeds on melastomataceae and euphorbiaceae fruits. These birds also consume insects, which they hunt for on the underside of the leaves.
The diet is made up of around 74% fruits and 26% insects. The nest is built 3-8m above the ground, is cup-shaped and may contain 2 white eggs with brown spots. Both sexes help to build it, mainly using roots and leaves. Females incubate the eggs for 13 days and males usually remain close to the nest.