Ecuador has an avifauna diversity that is unparalleled throughout the world. Of the 3000 species of birds inhabiting the continent of South America, over half of those species can be encountered in this small and friendly nation. What makes birding in Ecuador even more appealing is that most of these birds are easily accessible by public transportation.
It is the goal of this blog to highlight the avian beauty of this country through photographic images and in-depth descriptions.
Monday, December 19, 2011
The Simple Beauty of the Blue-gray Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager of West (Traupis episcopus)
The Blue-gray Tanager
is probably one of the most commonly seen and easily recognized birds of the
Andes foothills in Ecuador, whether it is the western or eastern slope. It can
be observed foraging in trees and gardens and predominates the activity at many
fruit feeders. It is a ubiquitous passerine with a pleasant personality and a
This is one of those birds that you can tire of seeing
because of its simple colors and constant presence. Although it has a
strikingly beautiful bluish gray hue, it is not as stunningly marked as other
tanagers that frequent the area. One has to get over the unpretentiousness of
it appearance and appreciate its classic allure.
In the Mindo valley the Blue-gray Tanager can be seen
nervously gleaning the fruit trees in search of berries and other suitable
morsels. But they are particularly susceptible to the siren’s call of the fruit
feeders at Milpe Bird Sanctuary and Mirador Rio
Blanco. Here you can see them dominating the various species as they forage for
some delectable offerings. It is also quite common in the gardens of Hacienda San Vicente in the town of
Blue-gray Tanager of East
On the eastern slopes the Blue-gray Tanager can be observed
along the Loreto and Archidona Roads, traveling from Baeza to Tena. In
Misahualli they can be seen frolicking in the trees along with various Squirrel
Monkeys that inhabit the park in the center of town. I find the white coverlets
of the eastern species of Blue-gray Tanager to give them a more striking
appearance that the western race.
This beautiful passerine can be seen in large numbers as it
travels in groups throughout its regions. It is also often seen in mixed
flocks, foraging with other tanagers such as the Palm and Lemon-rumped on the
western slope. When in gatherings they appear to blend in quietly but reveal a
certain territorial aggressiveness around feeders