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Tangara gyrola

Bay-headed Tanager

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic 9 Subspecies

Authors: Mireles, Cyndarienne, and Kevin J. Burns

Tangara gyrola

Manizales, Caldas, Colombia; 24 February 2009 © Julian Londono

The Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola) is a vibrantly-colored, tropical bird that occurs in Costa Rica, Panama, and in much of northern South America. This species is highly variable geographically, with no fewer than nine recognized subspecies, making it one of the most phenotypically diverse of all Tangara tanagers (only the Golden Tanager Tangara arthus has as many subspecies). The Bay-headed Tanager also is genetically diverse, indicating that more that it may include more than one species. The Bay-headed Tanager commonly occurs found in the canopy of humid forest. They also inhabit nearby clearings with scattered trees, semi-open areas, and tall second growth forests. Their diet mainly consists of fruits, but they frequently eat insects. Like most tanagers, the Bay-headed Tanager is a very social bird, and typically forages in pairs or small groups that travel within larger mixed-species flocks. The open cup nest is typically concealed in dense foliage and placed in trees. The clutch size is two. Females construct the nest and incubate the eggs, and both adults feed the young. The conservation status of the Bay-headed Tanager is listed as of Least Concern (BirdLife International 2010).

Recommended Citation

Mireles, Cyndarienne, and Kevin J. Burns. 2010. Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website, for the distribution in Central America and/or Caribbean, and on a map provided by Robert S. Ridgely, for the South American distribution.

The data for the InforNatura maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Montane evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:Glean
  • Diet:Omnivorous
  • Sociality:Mixed Flocks
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: 2 - 2
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern