The gold-ringed tanager (Bangsia aureocincta) is every bit as bright in appearance as its name would suggest. Bright yellow patches lie on either side of the head, which, despite the name, do not form a full ring. There is also a yellow patch on the chest and the rest of the plumage is green and blue (3). Members of the genus Bangsia are said to be plump, and have short tails.
The gold-ringed tanager is the only member of its genus in which the male and female have an obvious difference in plumage, with the male having a black face and the female an olive coloured face (4).
The song of the gold-ringed tanager is described as being a sharp, high-pitched whistle. However, when alarmed, it has been known to produce a much lower, short twittered trill (2).
- Buthraupis aureocincta.
- Length: 16 cm (2)
Gold-ringed tanager biology
The gold-ringed tanager is often seen living in flocks which consist of individuals from many different species. It is not known exactly why these mixed bird flocks form, but it is thought that this behaviour could be to aid foraging efficiency or predator avoidance (2) (5).
Between 70 and 90 percent of the diet of the gold-ringed tanager consists of fruit. However, when found living in mixed species flocks this species was also observed to be eating insects (2).
It is thought that the main breeding season for the gold-ringed tanager is between February and July, and species in the genus Bangsia tend to build a nest 6 to 15 metres above the ground. The gold-ringed tanager’s nest is a large, domed ball shape constructed of moss, and lined with rootlets. Little is known about the breeding behaviour of this species; however there is evidence that it is a cooperatively breeding bird (4).
Gold-ringed tanager range
The gold-ringed tanager is endemic to Colombia in the north-west corner of South America, where it has been found in just three locations, on the western slopes of the Andes Mountains. Up until 1946, it was found in several other locations, but is now thought to have disappeared from these regions due to habitat destruction (2).
Gold-ringed tanager habitat
The gold-ringed tanager is found exclusively in wet, humid forest (2).
Gold-ringed tanager status
The golden-ringed tanager is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).
Gold-ringed tanager threats
The main threat faced by the gold-ringed tanager is deforestation for building projects. In particular, there are currently attempts to build a road through one of the few forests in which this species is known to exist, which could possibly lead to logging, mining, and human settlement in the area (2).
Although some of its range is protected, areas with recently discovered populations of the gold-ringed tanager remain unprotected, and government research into this species is difficult, due to the presence of guerrillas in the area (2).
Gold-ringed tanager conservation
The gold-ringed tanager is currently protected in the Tatamá National Park and in the Las Orquídeas National Park. Also, a management plan is in preparation for the area of the Alto de Pisiones, which should further protect some of the habitat of this species (2).
Proposed conservation measures for the gold-ringed tanager include more surveys within its range, and fully protecting the forests at Alto de Pisiones (2).
Find out more
More information on the gold-ringed tanager:
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- Co-operative breeding
- In birds, when three or more individuals contribute towards raising a single brood at a single nest site. Non-parental helpers at the nest assist with the feeding and raising of young birds.
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
- The act of incubating eggs, that is, keeping them warm so that development is possible.
IUCN Red List (November, 2011)
BirdLife International - gold-ringed tanager (November, 2011)
Bent, A.C. (1958) Life Histories of North American Blackbirds, Orioles, Tanagers and Allies. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Freeman, B.G. and Arango, J.A. (2010) The nest of the gold-ringed tanager (Bangsia aureocincta), a Colombian endemic. Ornitología Colombiana, 9: 71-75.
Arbelaez-Cortes, E., Rodriguez-Correa, H.A. and Restrepo-Chica, M. (2011) Mixed bird flocks: patterns of activity and species composition in a region of the Central Andes of Colombia. Revisita Mexicana De Biodiversidad,82(2): 639-651.
Duca, C. and Marini, M.A. (2011) Variation in breeding of the shrike-like tanager in Central Brazil. Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 123(2): 259-265.