Swallow Tanager Tersina viridis


The Swallow Tanager is a widespread inhabitant of humid forest edge and second growth forest across much of South America, south to southern Brazil. A stunning bird, male Swallow Tanagers are shining turquoise blue, with a broad bill and black on the forehead and throat.  Female Swallow Tanagers are a dull green overall with buffy yellow underparts.  Swallow Tanagers perch with a characteristic upright posture. They diet includes both fruit and insects; fruit usually is taken while perched, but insects are captured in sallying flight. Swallow Tanagers nest singly or in loose colonies in burrows in dirt banks, or in cavities in buildings. After the breeding season Swallow Tanagers can be seen in groups that vary in size from 5 to up to 100 individuals.  The abundance of Swallow Tanagers often varies throughout the year at many sites, suggesting nomadic movements, and some populations in northern and southern South America clearly are migratory.

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© Paul A. Schwartz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Swallow Tanager (Tersina viridis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/swatan1