Silver-beaked Tanager - Ramphocelus carbo

Length 6.5-7.0 in (16.5-17.8 cm)
Weight 0.8-1.0 oz (21.5-27 g)
Clutch Size 1-3
Chicks at birth Altricial
IUCN Conservation Status Least Concern

There are eight subspecies of Silver-beaked Tanager found in South America. They are sexually dimorphic. The male plumage varies from crimson to velvety crimson black with the head and breast having the least amount of black. Their large bill is a bright silvery gray. Females are a dull dark reddish brown with the upperparts and throat more brown and the underparts more reddish. Their bill is darker and not as silvery. Both sexes have dark eyes with, I believe, a hint of red.

(For more information)

Diet: Silver-beaked Tanagers mostly eat insects and fruit. Sometimes they may also eat flowers and nectar. They forage from the ground up, occasionally to the canopy.

Courtship: Silver-beaked Tanagers are considered a social bird and live in small groups of 4-10 birds. When flying, group members follow the leader closely and before they fly, they flick wings and tail. Courtship display includes pointing the bill skyward showing the bright lower mandible. When threatened, they assume an erect and crouch postures and silently gapes.

Nesting: The female builds the deep compact cup nest made of dead leaves and fibers and usually placed in a bush. Two green-blue eggs are laid on consecutive days. Both parents feed the young.

Habitat and Range: Silver-beaked Tanagers are found from eastern Colombia and Venezuela south to Paraguay and central Brazil and on Trinidad. They prefer second growth and bushy habitats ins semi-open situations at forest edge, along rivers, lakes, and roadway, and in savannas, cultivated areas and abandoned plantations.

Vocalization: They vocalize frequently and have a variety of calls including an alarm call, a Dawn song and a Day song.

Plumage/Molt: No alternate plumage and probably molt annually like other Tanagers.

Migration: Not migratory.

Tongue/feet: Gray feet and legs. The tongue is thinnish and pointed.


  • The Free Encyclopedia, Accessed June, 2013
  • Isler, Morton L. and Isler, Phyllis R., The Tanagers: Natural History, distribution, and Identification,Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C., 1987

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