White-lined tanager

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White-lined tanager
Tachyphonus rufus -Asa Wright Nature Centre, Northern Range, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago -pair-8a-3c.jpg
A pair feeding at Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Tachyphonus
T. rufus
Binomial name
Tachyphonus rufus
(Boddaert, 1783)

The white-lined tanager (Tachyphonus rufus) is a medium-sized passerine bird. This tanager is a resident breeder from Costa Rica south to northern Argentina, and on Trinidad and Tobago.

It occurs in semi-open areas including gardens.

In the breeding season, the male displays the white spots which he has under his wings, opening them and closing them before in front of the female.[2] The bulky cup nest is built in a tree or shrub, and the female incubates three, sometimes two, brown-blotched cream eggs for 14–15 days. This species has, on average, two broods per season.[2]

Adult white-lined tanagers are 18.5 cm (7.3 in) long and weigh 33 g (1.2 oz). They are long-tailed and with a mostly black stout pointed bill. The adult male is glossy black, apart from white underwing coverts and a small white patch on the upperwing. These white areas are conspicuous in flight but otherwise rarely visible. Females and immatures are entirely rufous in plumage, somewhat paler below.

These are restless but unwary birds which eat a wide variety of fruit, but especially epiphytes. They also take some nectar and insects, including beetles, ants and grasshoppers.

They appear to be territorial, as only one nesting pair is usually seen in an area. They rarely join mixed feeding flocks.[2]

The white-lined tanager's song is a fast repetitive cheeru.

Local names in Trinidad and Tobago include 'Parson' (for the male), and 'Singing Angel'; on these islands, the species is highly valued for its whistling ability.



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Tachyphonus rufus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Pipira-preta". Wikiaves (in Portuguese). Retrieved 18 September 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  • ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd ed.). Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.
  • Hilty, Steven L (2003). Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.

External links[edit]