Golden-naped Tanager Tangara ruficervix

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 6 subspecies
  • Authors: Laura Porturas and Kevin J. Burns

Diet and Foraging


Golden-naped Tanager is omnivorous, and feeds on arthropods, fruit, Müllerian bodies, and nectar. The proportions of food eaten by the Golden-naped Tanager were recorded (Naoki 2002) from Mindo, Ecuador (n = 231). The diet during this study was composed of 67% arthropods, 21% fruits, 7% Müllerian bodies, and 4% nectar.

Naoki (2007) quantified the relationship between diet and habitat and found that, regardless of whether it is foraging on arthropods or fruit, the species mainly forages in secondary forest:

HabitatArthropods (n = 48)Fruit (n = 138)
Secondary Forest75%80%
Semi Open20%10%
Primary Forest2.5%5%
Foraging Height15.6 ± 1m12.0 ± 0.4m

Primary modes of foraging for arthropods include sallying (74% of observations) and gleaning (18%) (Naoki 2003). Likewise, the primary substrate is air (59%) as well as leaves (29%) and flower buds (10%) (Naoki 2003). When fruit-foraging, gleaning (65%) is the primary mode used. Other foraging modes include hang-side (16%) and reach-down (10%) (Naoki 2003). Golden-naped Tanager prefers fruits from Ficus, Micornia, Morus and Cecropia species (Isler and Isler 1987, Naoki 2003). It also is one of only a few species to develop a mutualistic relationship with the plant species Cecropia gabrielis. Naoki and Toapanta (2001) hypothesized that the Golden-naped Tanager benefits from eating the Müllerian bodies produced by C. gabrielis while the plant benefits from the omnivorous bird eating herbivorous insects that cause it harm.

Foraging Behavior

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Recommended Citation

Porturas, L. and K. J. Burns (2012). Golden-naped Tanager (Tangara ruficervix), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.