Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola)


  • Species name: Bay-headed Tanager
  • Scientific name: Tangara gyrola
  • Family: Thraupidae (Tanagers)
  • Order: Passeriformes (Songbirds)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Medium-sized tanager, about 14-16 cm (5.5-6.3 in) long with a wingspan of 24-28 cm (9.4-11 in).
  • Body shape: Stocky and robust, with a large head, short neck, thick bill, and a short, square tail.
  • Plumage color:

Males (breeding season): Striking contrast of a bright bay head and chestnut throat against green upperparts and yellow underparts. Black wings with green edges.

Females and non-breeding males: Less colorful, with olive-green head and upperparts, yellow underparts, and two pale wing bars.

  • Beak: Short, thick, and conical, black in color, suitable for crushing fruits and seeds.
  • Legs: Short and dark gray.
  • Tail: Short and square-tipped.


  • Method of feeding: Primarily frugivorous, eating a variety of fruits and berries. Also gleans insects and seeds from foliage.
  • Reproduction: Builds cup-shaped nests in trees or shrubs. Lays 2-3 pale blue eggs with dark markings. Both parents care for the young.
  • Movement: Resident in most of its range, with some local movement in response to food availability.
  • Communication: Loud, high-pitched song with whistles and trills. Males sing to defend territory and attract mates.


  • Habitat: Rainforests, woodlands, scrublands, and gardens with abundant fruit trees.
  • Diet: Primarily fruits and berries, but also insects, seeds, and nectar.
  • Hunting methods: Gleans food from foliage, occasionally catches insects in mid-air, and may forage on the ground for fallen fruit.

Distribution: Found in Central and South America from Costa Rica to Bolivia and north-western Brazil, and on Trinidad.

The Bay-headed Tanager, with its electric turquoise head, dazzling plumage, and vibrant personality, is a crown jewel of the South American rainforests. But beneath its stunning beauty lies a scientific powerhouse packed with fascinating facts and electrifying quirks. Brace yourself for a tropical avian adventure:

A Flash of Turquoise Thunder: Forget slow and steady; the Bay-headed Tanager is a speed demon of the canopy. They zip through the leaves with acrobatic grace, chasing insects and navigating dense foliage with lightning-fast precision. Think of them as feathered Ferraris in emerald green racetracks!

Fruity Feasts with a Twist: While insects are their staple food, Bay-headed Tanagers have a sweet tooth for fruit. They'll sling berries and fruits with their beaks, launching them against branches to break them open, revealing the juicy goodness within. Talk about feathered food fighters with a tropical flavor!

Melodious Mimicry Master: The Bay-headed Tanager's song isn't just a chirpy tune; it's a musical masterpiece of mimicry. They can seamlessly incorporate the calls of other birds, frogs, and even insects into their songs, creating a sonic jungle remix that's both impressive and sometimes hilarious. Imagine a bird singing a feathered mashup of the rainforest choir!

Unexpected Socialites: These vibrant birds might surprise you with their social side. Despite their territorial tendencies, they often form loose flocks outside of breeding periods. They share feeding grounds, preen each other's feathers, and even engage in playful chases, showcasing their hidden communal spirit. Talk about a feathered jungle party!

Family Feud (with Feathers): While Bay-headed Tanagers typically raise their young in peace, things can get messy when resources are scarce. Siblings engage in feathered food fights, pushing and shoving each other to get the best bites from their parents. It's like avian sibling rivalry played out in the emerald canopy!

Electric Personality (Maybe): Recent research suggests the Bay-headed Tanager might have a unique way of communicating. Some scientists believe they generate weak electric fields with their feathers, potentially used for territorial defense or mate selection. Imagine birds sending out feathered Morse code with a tropical vibe!

Symbiotic Symphony: Bay-headed Tanagers play a crucial role in the delicate ecosystem of the rainforest. By dispersing seeds through their droppings, they help regenerate the very forests they call home. It's a beautiful dance of life, with feathered jewels contributing to the emerald tapestry of the jungle.