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Golden Tanager: 21 Facts You Will Never Forget

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The golden tanager (Tangara arthus) is one of the birds that belong to the Thraupidae family of animals. These birds live in the north-western regions of South America. You can find them in abundance in the mountains and forests of Venezuela, Bolivia, and the Andes. These birds are small and pretty, with a trailing sound that makes spotting them a mesmerizing experience for wanderers. Even though they are cute, there hasn't been any record of keeping them as pets. In fact, in a few regions keeping them as pets is considered illegal as they are wild birds.

The golden tanager has a subspecies that looks just slightly different than the original species. These birds have a bright plumage which makes them even more attractive. They are monogamous birds, and males take care of the females by bringing them food during the breeding season. The pair are known to build their nest together with the help of dried leaves, fiber, and stems.

Keep on reading to know more about these pretty birds. For fact files about similar species, check summer tanager and turquoise tanager.

Golden Tanager Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a golden tanager?

The golden tanager (Tangara arthus) and tanager subspecies are all considered birds belonging to the Thraupidae family, genus Tangara.

What class of animal does a golden tanager belong to?

This golden tanager of the Thraupidae family, genus Tangara, belongs to the Aves class under the Passeriformes order of animals.

How many golden tanagers are there in the world?

Even though there is no exact number available about their population, this species of birds are considered Least Concern and has a population in abundance across their regions.

Where does a golden tanager live?

The golden tanager species lives in the north-western parts of South America. The range this species lives in includes the Andes, Bolivia, and the north coast of Venezuela.

What is a golden tanager's habitat?

The golden tanager, (Tangara arthus species), is known to live mainly in the coastal mountains. They are often also spotted around the highland forests, with a few of their subspecies found along the northwards coast of South American areas.

Who does a golden tanager live with?

Golden tanager birds are exceptionally social and travel in flocks of 5-30 birds of their subspecies or other communities of birds. They wander around in their breeding range in the southern parts of America and might have variations in their calls and mannerisms, influenced by the flocks of other species they are with.

How long does a golden tanager live?

Even though the exact duration of their lifespan isn't known, you can say that the birds of these subspecies live successfully for five years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding period occurs in the mid-months of the year, mainly between May and September. The males are known to attract the females with the help of their long calls, visual displays of their colorful wings, and by offering them food. This species is monogamous, and the pair is known to build a nest together before mating. After mating, the females lay around one to two eggs in a cup-shaped nest. The couple might raise two to three broods with one or two eggs each during this breeding season. The females then incubate the eggs for a span of 10 to a maximum of 15 days. The family stays together for another 12 days or until the young ones start fledging.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has enlisted the golden tanager (Tangara arthus) range of birds in the Least Concern category due to their vast presence across the southern land of America. However, their population trend is known to be decreasing.

Golden Tanager Fun Facts

What does a golden tanager look like?

The golden tanager (Tangara arthus) is a small-sized bird where the males may be slightly more significant than the females. Both males and females of these birds have golden-yellow feathers all over their body. Golden tanager wings have black patterns, which make them look beautiful in flight. This black patch is below their dark beady eyes and besides the cone-shaped short and black bill. Apart from the golden-yellow plumage, these birds have a black pattern across their body extending to their tail. They have a slightly longer and fan-tail, which is black. Many of their subspecies have slight brownish underparts, which makes them easier to be recognized.

The golden tanager bird has golden-yellow feathers with black stripes on its wings.

How cute are they?

Due to their bright colors, long tail, and sweet voice, these birds of the Thraupidae family are mesmerizing for birdwatchers and explorers to see. They are considered extremely cute like a cardinal bird.

How do they communicate?

These birds use their phrases of 'chid-it-id' as a call to their partners. Apart from vocals, they also engage in visual gestures, especially when the males show off their wings, twitch the tail, and feed the females during the breeding season to let them know they care.

How big is a golden tanager?

The golden tanager (Tangara arthus) with a size range of 5.3-5.5 in (13.5-14 cm) is smaller than a thick-billed parrot.

How fast can a golden tanager move?

The exact pace of these birds isn't known, but they have a fast movement in short spans while taking short flights. While foraging, this bird is seen hopping from branch to branch rather than flying.

How much does a golden tanager weigh?

This tanager bird is a small-sized bird, and it can weigh anywhere between 0.7-1 oz (18.7-27.5 g). A western tanager is bulkier than this species.

What are the male and female names of the species?

A golden tanager (Tangara arthus) male and female are referred to as cock and hen respectively.

What would you call a baby golden tanager?

Like any other bird species, the babies of these birds can be called chicks.

What do they eat?

This species of golden tanager birds has an omnivorous diet. As they live around highland forests, it is easier to find different kinds of wild berries, seeds, and fruits. This bird's diet also includes anthropods and insects that are readily available in the wild.

Are they friendly?

As this species lives in the mountainous and forest areas, their interaction with humans is limited. Although, as they are seen mingling with other birds, you can say that they are friendly.

Would they make a good pet?

This species of tanager birds can never make good pets, just like summer tanagers. This is mainly because these are wild birds and live well outdoors rather than in captive settings.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

The golden tanager (Tangara arthus) is one of the few species seen foraging with birds of different species in the forest without any display of aggression.

What is the golden tanager's call?

Their calls have a staccato-phrase clubbed together in sounds of 'chid-chid-id-it-it-id'. They use this call to indicate their presence to their partners or imply any danger to their flocks.

How are they different from other tanagers?

Golden and western tanagers might be confused due to their yellow plumage and dark patterned wings and tail. The distinctive feature in the western is the reddish scalp, pointed and slightly longer bill, and brown wing pattern. In comparison, the golden bird has a bright crown, black wing patterns with a patch on the face, and a shorter conical bill.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these burrowing owl facts and tanager facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bird coloring pages.

Both images by Mike's Birds from Riverside, CA, US

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