Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager (Anisognathus igniventris)

Don’t get confused by the name, this is not the Scarlet Tanager, which incidentally has very bright red colors. The Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager is just unbelievably handsome. It has a dark body which can look blueish under the right light. The belly is a deep scarlet color, although some subspecies may show different shades of this red. It also has a red patch on the ear, and two blue patches, one in the shoulder and the other on the rump. Just as its name, it is a very elegant bird, specially when set against a contrasting green background. It shares the same genus with the Blue-winged and the Lachrymose Mountain-Tanagers, however I really find this species to be pinnacle of beauty. We saw them at about 3,000 meters above sea level, during our visit to Termales del Ruiz.

Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager - Anisognathus igniventris - Tangará Escarlata (2)

This is an undoubtedly colorful bird. The red belly is specially conspicuous, as it normally is displayed against a green background at Termales del Ruiz.

Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager - Anisognathus igniventris - Tangará Escarlata (3)

Mountain Tanagers like this one and the Blue-winged are rather large within the tanager family.

Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager - Anisognathus igniventris - Tangará Escarlata (4)

The upper part of the body and the chest are black, but glows with some blue during cloudy days.

Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager - Anisognathus igniventris - Tangará Escarlata (5)

It has a red patch behind the ear, and a blue rump which remains concealed most of the time by the wings, except on the sides.

Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager - Anisognathus igniventris - Tangará Escarlata (6)

They are very active and came to the feeders in groups of two to four in Termales del Ruiz.

Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager - Anisognathus igniventris - Tangará Escarlata (7)

Like the Blue-winged, it is difficult to get good pictures of them, as they don’t return to ther perch after feeding.

Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager - Anisognathus igniventris - Tangará Escarlata

They have an elegance that’s almost mystical.

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