Silver-throated Tanager Tangara icterocephala

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Ashley Lane-Roberts and Kevin J. Burns


Breeding: In Costa Rica, breeding occurs from the beginning of April though late September, and they will have two broods during this season (Skutch 1954; Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Nest building began around the first of April (Skutch 1954). Tangara icterocephala nests most often in forested areas, but nests were also found in isolated trees growing in dooryards, pastures, or above mountain streams 1.8 -10.7 m off the ground (Skutch 1954; Isler and Isler 1987). The nests are bulky cups made of moss and leaves, bound with cobweb and were found hidden on mossy branches among foliage. Females are the only ones to build the nest, although males occasionally bring nesting material and help shape the nest. Males were also seen bringing food to the partner who was actively building her nest (Skutch 1954; Isler and Isler 1987). Skutch (1954) found nests at sites between 762-914 m (2500 and 3000 ft) in elevation.
Eggs: Eggs are dull white or grayish in overall color and are heavily mottled with brown; the mottling is distributed throughout the egg but is concentrated on the larger end (Skutch 1954). Measurements of 8 eggs were taken and the average was 21.3 by 15.6 millimeters (Skutch 1954).
Clutch size: 2, laid on consecutive days (Isler and Isler 1987).
Incubation: The female is the sole incubator of the eggs for an average period of 13.25 days (Skutch 1954,  Skutch 1989).
Parental care – condition at hatching, growth and development, brooding, feeding, etc.: Both parents help feed nestlings, and the young appear to separate from their parents as soon as they can take care of themselves which is approximately 15 days after hatching (Skutch 1954, Skutch 1989). The nest success rate of Silver-throated Tanagers is 54.3% (19/35 nests successful) with an egg success rate of 44.7% (47 eggs laid, 28 hatched, 21 fledglings) (Skutch 1989).

Recommended Citation

Lane-Roberts, A. and K. J. Burns (2010). Silver-throated Tanager (Tangara icterocephala), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.