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Version 1.0

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Golden-hooded Tanager Tangara larvata

Makenzie Mabry and Kevin J. Burns
Version: 1.0 — Published October 5, 2010



In Costa Rica, the Golden-hooded Tanager breeds from February or March to September (Skutch 1954, Stiles and Skutch 1989); reported breeding dates in Panama are from February-August (Wetmore et al. 1984). In western Colombia, S. Hilty found five nests January-May (Hilty and Brown 1986).

The most detailed information on breeding in this species is from Skutch (1954). The nest, which is constructed by both sexes, is an open cup, containing fine plant fibers, dead leaves, and cobwebs. Nest construction takes four to six days. Nest sites are 1.5-15 m above the ground, in trees or bushes. The clutch size is two; the eggs are pale gray or white and speckled with brown at the larger end. The mean egg size is 20.2 x 14.8 mm (n=25). Only the female incubates, for 13-15 days. The male often feeds the female while she incubates the eggs. Both parents contribute to feeding the nestlings. At some nests, tanagers in juvenile plumage also attended the nestlings, although with less frequency than did the adults. These juvenile helpers presumably are older siblings of the nestlings, although this has not been documented. At other nests, up to three birds in adult plumage attended the nest. The young stay in the nest for 14-16 days before fledging. Usually two broods are raised in a season, but three have been documented.

Skutch (1954) observed two instances in which a Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus) laid eggs in a nest, already containing eggs, of Golden-hooded Tanager. In both cases the Thraupis incubated the mixed brood. One nest was lost to predation within a few days. In the second case, one nestling Golden-hooded Tanager survived until fledging, although its later fate is unknown.

Recommended Citation

Mabry, M. and K. J. Burns (2010). Golden-hooded Tanager (Tangara larvata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.gohtan1.01