Thursday 14 June 2012

Green-headed Tanager

Elis will be home today, but I couldn't resist one more photo.

Never mind all the rare skulkers, the Green-headed Tanager is abundant and obvious in Ubatuba. It is still an Atlantic forest endemic, but happily one that you don't have to spend hours crawling through insect infested jungle to see.

If you like to suffer to see your birds and like to do things the hard way, then you could always close your eyes until you get to the forest and then strain your neck looking for these handsome little birds flitting through the canopy.

Alternatively you could visit any feeder, even in the centre of town, and watch them from the shade with a cold beer and your feet up. I know which I prefer.

The name for this glorious little bird in Portuguese is saira-de-sete-cores, which means, confusingly, Seven-coloured Tanager, that moniker being given to another similar species in English.

It is a familiar and much loved bird and its cheeky disposition make it popular with anyone who comes across them; they will even enter houses to find food if encouraged.

This bird has everything going for it, good looks and charm, but its friendliness can get it into trouble. I have known freezers in some of the poorer parts of town to be full of these birds, if you get enough, I am told, they make a good stew. Their friendliness is not always repaid in kind.

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