A Perfectly Delineated Patch Of Lemon-yellow Stands Out Vividly Against A Suit Of Turquoise Blue – Meet The Purplish-mantled Tanager!


A relatively chunky bird that is almost entirely blue except for a very distinctive, beautifully placed lemon yellow throat.

Meet the Purplish-mantled tanager

Photo Courtesy of Gary Leavens/CC BY-SA 2.0 The purplish-mantled tanager (Iridosornis porphyrocephalus), is a species of bird in the Thraupidae family. Up to 15 cm in length, this bird is mainly purplish-blue, especially on the head, reflecting almost greenish tones in the sunlight. The throat is a standout bright yellow contrasting beautifully against the rest of the body.


There is a small black mask from the beak to the eyes with a belly that is a buffy white turning brown toward the tail.

Photo Courtesy of Félix Uribe/CC BY-SA 2.0The wing coverts have black spots.

Both males and females look very similar.

Photo Courtesy of Francesco Veronesi / CC BY-SA 2.0This species is found from Colombia through to the southeast of Ecuador.


Photo Courtesy of Gary Leavens/CC BY-SA 2.0The purplish-mantled tanager prefers to inhabit subtropical moist montane forests as well as heavily degraded former forested areas.

Photo Courtesy of Félix Uribe/CC BY-SA 2.0This bird jumps and pecks in dense foliage to find and eat berries and insects, but does not congregate on fruit trees with other frugivores.

Photo Courtesy of Félix Uribe/CC BY-SA 2.0Not much is known about what happens during the breeding season of this species, however young have been recorded between May and June in the Central and Western mountain ranges.


Also, juveniles have been seen in the month of July in the town of Monchique.

Photo Courtesy of Félix Uribe/CC BY-SA 2.0This species is considered a Near Threatened species on the IUCN list. The loss and degradation of its habitat are the main causes of the reduction of its population as well as the result of agricultural, livestock, and mining activities.


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