In Costa Rica it is a common bird from 600 to 1,700 metres (2,000 to 5,600 ft) altitude in the lower and middle levels of wet mountain forests and adjacent semi-open areas like clearings with shade trees, second growth and woodland edges. In the heavy rains of the wet season, it will descend to sea level. In the South American part of its range it mainly occurs between 500 and 1,300 metres (1,600 and 4,300 ft), but can be found at altitudes of 150 to 2,100 metres (490 to 6,890 ft).
The adult silver-throated tanager is 13 centimetres (5.1 in) long and weighs 21 grams (0.74 oz). The male is mainly yellow, with black streaks down its back, and a whitish throat bordered above with a black malar stripe. The wings and tail are black with pale green edgings. The sexes are similar, but adult females have duller and greener-tinged yellow plumage, and sometimes dark mottling on the crown. Immatures are much duller and greener, with dusky wings, tail, back streaks and malar stripe, a grey throat and darker green wing edging.
The compact cup nest is built 1–13 metres (3.3–42.7 ft) in a tree on a branch. The normal clutch is two brown-blotched off-white eggs. This species will raise two broods in a season.
The silver-throated tanager's call is a distinctive sharp buzzy zzeeep. It does not sing.
- Restall, R. L., Rodner, C., & Lentino, M. (2006). Birds of Northern South America. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-7243-9 (vol. 1). ISBN 0-7136-7242-0 (vol. 2).
- Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-8014-9600-4
- Silver-throated Tanager videos on the Internet Bird Collection
- Silver-throated Tanager photo gallery VIREO (includes picture of egg clutch)
- Photo-High Res--(Close-up of front and throat); Article nationalzoo.si.edu–"Smithsonian: Bird Photo Gallery"
- Photo-High Res--(Close up); Article & photo gallery mangoverde