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The Green-Headed Tanager Is A Gorgeous Bird Whose Name Doesn't Do It Justice

Amy Pilkington 23 Sep 2020

Sometimes I look at a bird species and think that the name is really silly. Sometimes, it has the perfect name.

But sometimes, I look at the name side-by-side with a photo of the bird itself and think, "That's the best they could come up with?"

That was what happened when I saw the green-headed tanager.

First of all, "green" is not the first color that comes to mind for their heads.

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Turquoise, aquamarine, teal, any blue-green hue would be a better fit for it than plain old green. Especially when you consider the fact that they actually have real vibrant green wings and bellies.

My favorite feature, though, is the surprise pop of orange on their rumps.

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I'm just saying that their name doesn't do them justice.

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Green-headed tanagers are found in the south-eastern coasts of Brazil and along the south-eastern edge of Paraguay. A pocket of population can also be found in the extreme north-east of Argentina.

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They are active, social birds who live in flocks of 10-20 birds and even join mixed flocks.

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Though they prefer humid forests, they can be found in some orchards and parks at higher elevations, flitting rapidly between branches as they decide on a good foraging spot.

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Though their diet consists mostly of fruit, they also like seeds, insects, and nectar.

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Like many bird species, the females and juveniles aren't quite so vibrant, though the females are still quite pretty. They're mostly just a paler version of the males. Juveniles are mostly a duller, grey-green.

h/t: Beauty of Birds, eBird

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