Monday, April 17, 2017

Tantalizing Tanagers

Summer Tanager molting
Scarlet Tanager
 In Kentucky, we have two kinds of tanagers, the Summer and the Scarlet, and it's always a thrill to see one. In Costa Rica, however, we sighted 13 tanager species of a total of 20 on our checklist. I never knew they could come in so many brilliant colors!
Blue-gay Tanager
The Blue-gray Tanager was our first, found in the gardens at Hotel Bougainvillea in San Jose. When sitting in the sun, he is a bright blue, but appears to be a drab gray in the shade.
Plain Tanager
The Plain Tanager and the Palm Tanager are similar, and I think I have the right name on this one. It can be hard to remember a week after sighting the bird.
Flame-colored Tanager - male
Flame-colored Tanager - female
The Flame-colored Tanagers were abundant around the Savegre Lodge in the mountains, coming down to eat bananas at the feeders each morning.
We found two different black and red tanagers with white beaks, and it's easy to get them confused. The Crimson-collared has, of course, red around his neck...
Passerini's Tanager
...while the Passerini's Tanager has a red rump. Not many birds in Costa Rica are named after people, but this is one. Both live in the same habitat.
Golden-hooded Tanager
Here's where you get dazzled by bright feathers - the Golden-hooded Tanager...
Silver-throated Tanager
...and the Silver-throated Tanager. There was another, the Spangle-cheeked Tanager which sparkled in the sun, but I didn't get a photo of it. It's hard to decide which birds are my favorite from the trip, but the Tanagers are right up there at the top.

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