Swallow Tanager (Tersina viridis)

Swallow Tanager

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Thraupidae | [latin] Tersina viridis | [UK] Swallow Tanager | [FR] Tangara hirondelle | [DE] Schwalbentangare | [ES] Frutero Golondrina | [NL] Zwaluwtangare


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Dacnis viridis
Tersina viridis LA Panama to ne Argentina
Tersina viridis grisescens
Tersina viridis occidentalis
Tersina viridis viridis

Physical charateristics

The male has light emerald-green plumage with a black face and upper throat patch. The female is yellow-green in color, so there is somewhat of dimorphism. A first year male is mottled green and black and lacks the facemask of the adult.

Listen to the sound of Swallow Tanager

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/S/Swallow Tanager.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 14 cm size max.: 15 cm
incubation min.: 13 days incubation max.: 17 days
fledging min.: 21 days fledging max.: 17 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


Latin America : Panama to Northeast Argentina


The Swallow Tanager occurs in Central and northern South American forest edges, open woodlands, clearings, second growths, and other areas close to water.


It mostly nests in cavities made by other birds and man, including in cliffs, earth banks, and even bridges. The female Swallow Tanager typically lays 3 white eggs and incubates them for a period of about 13 – 17 days. Both parents feed the young, although the female’s participation is much more than the male’s. The young fledge the nest after approximately 24 days.

Feeding habits

Perching on exposed branches, it feeds on fruit and insects.It forages for a variety of fruits, including berries and avocadoes, as well as insects such as termites, grasshoppers, and ants. It catches insects while in flight, often taking two or three before returning to the same perch. It lives in large groups on the edges of forests, in fields and in clearings.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Swallow Tanager status Least Concern


Sedentary throughout range

Distribution map

Swallow Tanager distribution range map

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