White-banded Tanager Neothraupis fasciata

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Ariane-Jane Flores, Casey H. Richart, and Kevin J. Burns


White-banded Tanager breeds during the wet season (Duca and Marini 2011), typically in the months of October and November, and enlarged gonads have been reported in this species during these months (Isler and Isler 1987, Alves 1990, Silva et al. 1997). It is a territorial species with cooperative reproduction that employs helpers at the nest (Alves 1990). Only females build the nest, which is cup shaped, is placed less than 1 m above the ground, and is made of twigs and straw lined with grass (Isler and Isler 1987, Alves 1990, Alves and Cavalcanti 1990). The nest cycle (n = 120 nests) includes an incubation period of 13 days and with a nestling period of 11.7 days, which is shorter than most neotropical birds (Duca and Marini 2011). Clutch size (2-3 eggs) was found to be similar to most neotropical birds (Duca and Marini 2011). The eggs are white with reddish spots, with a mean length of 23.9 mm (n = 20; SE 0.26 mm), width of 16.8 mm, and mass of 3.6 g (SE 0.08; Alves and Cavalcanti 1990). Both parents and group members help feed nestlings. Although the genealogical origin of helpers is not known, either sex can be a helper and they assist in territorial defense and act as sentinels. A male in one territory was observed to breed in an adjacent territory after first assisting a breeding couple (Alves 1990). White-banded Tanager young may stay with their parents until the following reproductive season, suggesting that young birds of previous broods help at the nest to bring up later broods (Isler and Isler 1987, Alves 1990).

Human settlement in central Brazil has reduced cerrado vegetation and made more habitat available to the nest parasite Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis), which has become comon (Cavalcanti and Pimentel 1988). In these areas, White-banded Tanager was found to be a cowbird hosts in five out of six nests examined (Cavalcanti and Pimentel 1988).

Recommended Citation

Flores, A., C. H. Richart, and K. J. Burns (2015). White-banded Tanager (Neothraupis fasciata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whbtan1.01