Friday, 19 February 2016

Speckled Tanager

     Central and South America are home to a stunning array of tanagers, perhaps one of the most diverse and superbly colourful families in the avian world. Costa Rica is blessed with a wonderful selection of these amazing birds. Many of them are easy to see since they readily come to feeding stations, especially those with bananas to which many of them seem to be especially attracted.
     When we stayed at Las Cruces Biological Station at San Vito in the southern part of the country, Speckled Tanager Tangara gutta was a predictable patron of the feeders there. 

     Interestingly this species lives in families or small groups and is rarely seen alone, so once one bird is sighted others are sure to put in an appearance too. Furthermore, it travels with mixed flocks of other tanagers, so a Speckled Tanager at your feeder likely means that other species will soon be joining them.     


Silver-throated Tanager Tangara icterocephala

     Many of the observations of breeding birds were done by Alexander Skutch (see earlier post) and it was found that the birds nest from 3 - 7.6 metres off the ground in a tall bush. Both sexes participate in building  a compact open cup made of leaves and rootlets. 
     It's a wonderful bird to see with all the charisma one might expect from a tropical species. I hope that all of you will one day be able to experience a mixed flock of tanagers with a Speckled Tanager as one of the star attractions.


  1. Birds have beautiful colors and so certainly not hard to spot. Let them be as much as possible, because they are beautiful. Regards.

  2. What a beautiful colorful bird is David.
    Splendor photos.
    Greetings Tinie

  3. Hello David, what a little jewel of a bird this is. Those colors and drawings of the feathers are spectacular. Just wonderful.

  4. What a magic colors! It seems they are from other planet... :)

  5. Hello David,
    How these birds can be existed ? It's fantastic.
    Splendid picture David

  6. What a pretty bird, one I do not know at all. Thanks for sharing Diane

  7. What a fascinating trip,stunning shots love the colourering deep rich plumage.
    Costa Rica is another place that we intend to visit.

  8. Un pájaro realmente bonito, espectacular. Un fuerte abrazo mi amigo.

  9. Sweet little bird with interesting colours. Nature is good like that with colours.

  10. Hello David,
    Beautiful series of images of this particular bird.
    Beautifully photographed, beautiful light and perfectly sharp, my compliments.
    Have a nice weekend,
    Best regards, Irma

  11. Super, David. Beautiful birds and pictures!
    Gr Jan W

  12. Oh it would be wonderful if your hopes for all of us would come true ... But in the meantime, I will be happy with your superb pictures of this wonderful little bird! Such a beautiful color combination... One I've never seen.

  13. What a bird - I have to admit I swore in surprise when I saw the first image - I can only wonder what would happen if I saw a real one!!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  14. Hello David,
    What a special bird is this. Really amazing with his beautiful colors.
    Great pictures.

    Many greetings,

  15. Dearest David,
    So, not only a stunning bird species of the Tanager familie is this Speckled Tanager but it teaches us a lot about nest building as a couple together! All male could learn from that I guess; feathered and non-feathered.

  16. I thought that I'd left a comment on this post when you first published it, David, but it appears not!

    That Speckled Tanager is certainly a real eye-catcher. It would be right near the top of the list of 'must sees' if I visited the region. Great images of a fabulous bird!

    Best wishes to you both - - - Richard

  17. wow, gresat images of this beautiful birds! lovely and amazing colors!

  18. Awesome !! Really a very beautiful and distinct bird.
    So nice not hear the birds in our cold little country down.
    Beautiful pictures too and educational information!
    Thank you.

  19. The colours are amazing.Gorgeous birds!