Animal of the Week: Glistening-green tanager
By Kathrine Ledermann, Features Contributor
The glistening-green tanager (Chlorochrysa phoenicotis) is native to western Colombia and western Ecuador. The bright green color occurs in males, but the females are only a duller shade of green. Unlike many birds in North America, this species doesn’t migrate: they like to stay in one place and stay with one family. As a monogamous species, which is common in their family Thraupidae, the male and female stay together for the mating season. They both work together to raise their young, from several weeks up to a couple of months. Unfortunately, because they live in a defined space, the population is declining as a result of deforestation from mining and agriculture. Although their numbers are decreasing, this species is considered a “least concern” according to the IUCN Red List of endangered species.
Many animals are able to see more than humans, as is the case with this bird. In order to help with foraging for food their ability to see in the ultraviolet range is essential. Their diet of fruit and insects are actually reflected in UV light, which makes them easier to spot. This tanager will hang upside down from trees or join other species of birds in order to catch prey more efficiently.