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Crimson-collared Tanager

Related subjects: Birds

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Crimson-collared Tanager
Adult, northern subspecies
Conservation status

Least Concern ( IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Ramphocelus
Species: R. sanguinolentus
Binomial name
Ramphocelus sanguinolentus
( Lesson, 1831)

The Crimson-collared Tanager, Ramphocelus sanguinolentus, is a rather small Middle American songbird.

Crimson-collared Tanagers average 19–20 cm (7.5–8 in) long. The adult plumage is black with a red collar covering the nape, neck, and breast (remarkably similar to the pattern of the male Crimson-collared Grosbeak). All tail coverts are also red. The bill is striking pale blue and the legs are blue-gray. Females average slightly duller than males, but are sometimes indistinguishable. Juvenile birds are similar except that the hood is dull red, the black areas are tinged with brown, and the breast is mottled red and black. Young birds also have a duller bill colour.

Vocalizations are high-pitched and sibilant. There are several calls; one rendered as ssi-p is given both when perched and in flight. The song is jerky and consists of two-to-four-note phrases separated by pauses, tueee-teew, chu-chee-wee-chu, teweee.

The Crimson-collared Tanager ranges from southern Veracruz and northern Oaxaca in Mexico through the Atlantic slope of Central America (Howell and Webb 1995) to the highlands of western Panama (Hill 2006). It inhabits the edges of humid evergreen forests and second growth, where it is often seen in pairs at middle to upper levels. The nest is a cup built of such materials as moss, rootlets and strips of large leaves such as banana or Heliconia, and is placed at middle height in a tree at a forest edge. The female usually lays two eggs, pale blue with blackish spots.

This species is sometimes placed in a genus of its own as Phlogothraupis sanguinolenta (e.g., Howell and Webb 1995), and a genetic study suggests that it is less closely related to the other Ramphocelus tanagers than they are to each other (Hackett 1996).

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