Turquoise Tanager Tangara mexicana

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 5 subspecies
  • Authors: Jennifer Hart and Kevin J. Burns


Breeding: At least in the northern portion of the range of the Turquoise Tanager, breeding may occur through much of the year. Breeding records in Colombia are from February and October (Hilty and Brown 1986). Similarly in Trinidad, breeding is from April-October (ffrench 1991), from February-August in Suriname (Haverschmidt 1968), and there is a breeding record for November from Pará, Brazil (Isler and Isler 1999). Only the female constructs the nest (Ingels 1974). The nest is a cup "of dead grasses and leaves lined with fine roots on branches," and often is high above the ground (Haverschmidt 1968), although the nest may be placed as low as 6 m above the ground (ffrench 1991).

Eggs: Eggs are whitish, marked with grayish and brown spots; the egg dimensions are  20.1 x 14.5 mm (Haverschmidt 1968). The clutch size is two-three (ffrench 1991, Isler and Isler 1999). Only the female incubates; the incubation period is 12-14 days (Sproule 2006). Up to four or five adults provision the young (Snow and Collins 1962).  By the age of six weeks juvenile  Turquoise Tanagers are as large as the adults and forage on their own; by the age of eight weeks the young attain a plumage similar to that of the adult (Sproule 2006).

Recommended Citation

Hart, J. and K. J. Burns (2011). Turquoise Tanager (Tangara mexicana), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.turtan1.01