White-banded Tanagers

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The White-banded Tanager (Neothraupis fasciata) is a South-American songbird.


Description:

The White-banded Tanager averages 16 cm (6½ in) in length and usually weighs 29-32 g.

It looks very similar to several species of shrike (for example the Loggerhead Shrike), with a black mask, grey upperparts and lighter grey underparts. Because of that, they are often referred to as the "Shrike-like Tanager."

Males and females of this species look alike.

Immature birds: the grey parts of the adult plumage is partially or entirely replaced by brown.


Distribution / Habitat:

White-banded Tanagers are native to the interior of south-central South America , where it isrestricted to Cerrado (tropical savanna ecoregion), woodland and shrub of central-eastern Brazil, and adjacent areas of north-eastern Paraguay (recently from single sites in Canindeyú and San Pedro but historically south to Caaguazú) and north-eastern Bolivia (Santa Cruz). It is commonly seen in Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso in Brazil.

They occur at elevations of 550-1100 m (1650-3600 ft). They inhabit areas with dense tree cover, savannas and shrubs.

These tanagers live in pairs or small groups of 5-12, the average being 7.

It is classified as Near Threatened by Birdlife International given its relative scarcity and the rapid destruction of the cerrado habitat as those areas are converted to soybeans, exportable crops and Eucalyptus plantations. Additionally, the grasslands in Paraguay are threatened by extensive cattle-ranching.



Breeding / Nesting:

The White-banded Tanagers breed in October and November. Thelarge deep cup-shaped nests are lined with grass and are usually located in small trees or bushes. A clutch usually contains 2 to 3 eggs. The young of previous clutches often help raise the young.


Diet:

These tanagers eat insects, foraging on the ground among grasses.


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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