A highly unique, equally small tanager, widespread in lowlands and foothills up to an altitude of up to1,800 m.
MEET THE SWALLOW TANAGER
The swallow tanager (Tersina viridis) is a bird species measuring 14.5 to 15 cm in length with a broad flat bill. Being sexually dimorphic (the sexes of the same species exhibit different characteristics), the male is opalescent blue with a black face and throat. His opalescent blue flanks have black barring and the lower belly is white.
The female is bright green with dusky-olive barring on the flanks. She also lacks the black face mask the male has.
Juvenile birds look similar to the female.
These birds are found widely throughout South America, from Panama right down to Northern Argentina.
Swallow tanager can be found around forest edges, open woodlands, clearings, second growths, and other areas close to water.
Preferring to perch on exposed branches, they like to feed on fruit and insects. They forage for a variety of fruits, including berries and avocadoes, as well as insects such as termites, grasshoppers, and ants. They also sally out to catch insects on the wing, often taking two or three before returning to the same perch.
Swallow tanager mostly nest in cavities made by other birds and man, including in cliffs, earth banks, and even bridges. The female usually lays 3 white eggs within, subsequently incubating them for a period of around 13 – 17 days. Both parents feed the young, although the female is much more devoted to this task than the male. The young leave the nest after approximately 24 days.
This species has an extremely large range and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.