White-lined Tanager (Tachyphonus rufus)

If you are lucky, you may be able to hear this bird in our New World Tropics building singing in the trees
of the large aviary. Many tanagers are known for being very colorful and patterned, and the white-lined tanager is no exception. This type of bird is known for being on the shy side, so you may have to look for awhile before you spot him.

Description: 

Medium-sized bird that is about 18cm long with a weight of 33 grams. Adult male is glossy black with a small white patch on the upper wing. The white wing linings are only visible when the wings are spread. Adult female white-lined tanagers are reddish-brown with a paler underside. Both have short, pointed bills, gray feet and legs and long tails. Juveniles are similar to the female in appearance but more dull and mottled.

Habitat: 

Forest borders, semi-open shrubby clearings and cultivated areas in foothills and lowlands.

Range: 

Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago to Ecuador, Bolivia, northern Argentina and Brazil.

Diet: 

Forages low, eating a wide variety of fruit, epiphtyes, nectar, seeds and insects.

Life Span: 

Uncertain.

Family Life: 

Male white-lined tanagers have been seen performing tail-spreading, wing-lifting, loud-whistling displays to the females. This species is territorial, with only one pair seen in an area. Pairs form throughout the year, nesting from spring to early fall. Thick, cup-like nests are built using plant material and sometimes even animal hair. Two or three cream-colored eggs with brown blotches are laid and incubated for about fifteen days. Parents will care for their young until they are ready to leave the nest.

Status: 

Still common, though being affected by habitat destruction in some areas of their range.