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Turquoise Tanager

Tangara mexicana
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Trinidad, Columbia, and Venezuela, south to Bolivia and much of Brazil.
They live in forest, woodland, and cultivated areas.

Turquoise Tanagers are named for their metallic blue feathers, which are caused by thin, transparent layers in the feather’s surface.  They do not produce any blue pigment!

They live in groups of 3 to 7, with adults taking care of each others’ chicks.  They warn each other if danger is near, like a bird of prey or a snake.  They also feed together on berries, fruits, and insects.

Turquoise Tanagers are adaptable to a broad range of habitats, and this flexibility led to their rating of “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Image by Rennet Stowe from Wikimedia Commons, used under Creative Commons cc-by 2.0.