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A larger bird with emerald green plumage and a ruby-like mask makes this bird stand out from his cousins.

Meet the Grass-green Tanager

The grass-green tanager (Chlorornis riefferii) has an unmistakable emerald green plumage with a rusty mask and rusty vent area. The grass-green tanager is 20 cm in length and weighs 53g. The bill, iris, and legs are the same color as the mask being a rusty brick-red.

The female lacks the black lores, the small black spots on the throat and upper breast, as well as the bluish wings of the male.

These birds can be found in the Andes of Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru at elevations of 1500–3350 m.

It forages in the canopy of humid montane forest often in the company of mixed-species flocks.

The grass-green tanagers have been known to join mixed-species feeding flocks, moving through the low- to mid-story of the forest in search of fruit and insects. Like other tanagers they mash larger or tough-skinned fruits with their bills to get at the pulp inside, discarding the skin.

There is little information on the breeding habits of this bird, however, it is known the female incubates her clutch alone, and that the male may bring her food while she sits on the nest and helps feed the hatchlings until they fledge. Young birds may stay with their parents for months after fledging, forming a small family group.

The Grass Green Tanager is uncommon in montane forests of the east slope of the Andes at elevations ranging between 2000-3500 m.

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