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Paradise Tanager: The Brilliant Bird of Many Colors

Aug 17, 2007
The Paradise Tanager (Tangara Chilensis) is a brilliantly colored, moderately sized songbird that resides in the forests of South America. Its seven bright colors make this bird stand out from any surroundings: its head is a bright shade of lime green, with a deep purple-blue on its breast and turquoise on its belly. The tail and wings are usually tipped with a banana yellow, while the lower back is a rich scarlet. The Tanager's mantle is also a bold black, giving this bird the moniker "seven-color" in the countries where it resides.

Both the male and female Paradise Tanager are almost exactly the same in appearance, making it somewhat difficult to identify the birds by sex. In order to do this, one must observe the bird's behavior: the male will sing more often than the female, and certainly if one of them lays eggs, you've found your female bird! When breeding, Paradise Tanagers prefer to establish their nest high up in the forest canopy, where there is protection from predators and a humid atmosphere to help the eggs develop properly. A female Paradise Tanager will lay two to three eggs at once, and these eggs have a short incubation period of about 13-14 days.

Found throughout South America, the Paradise Tanager resides most heavily in the area around the Amazon Basin, including Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, and Columbia. Interestingly, the Paradise Tanager isn't found in the southern Amazon - only the Northern parts, and typically in the forest canopy or around its humid edges. In fact, this bird is quite commonly found in its territory and appears to be thriving in its natural habitat - estimates place the Paradise Tanager's global range of extent at 4,500,000 km squared! For this reason, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Paradise Tanager is ranked as a species of "least concern".

The length of this bird varies from 13.5 to 15 cm, or 6 to 8 inches, and can be kept as a pet in a large cage with plenty of water. Due to their natural habitat in the Amazon, Paradise Tanagers should be given a diet of fresh, tropical fruits and nuts while in captivity, including figs, orange slices, bananas and pears. In addition, some small insects such as mealworms, crickets and fruits flies are also readily welcomed by these birds. With the proper daily care, Paradise Tanagers make beautiful pets, however they do need a great deal of attention to ensure stable health. Breeding in captivity is not recommended.
About the Author
Learn about a Exotic Bird Paradise Tanager at http://www.paradiseearthonline.com/
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