Bird of the Week, January 27, 2012
Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager

Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager by Dan Lebbin

The Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager is a noisy forest denizen of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula and adjacent Golfo Dulce lowlands. Its strident voice is often compared to the sound of tearing paper. This bird can be found in pairs or small family groups, sometimes accompanying mixed-species flocks. It feeds mostly on insects, but will occasionally eat fruit as well.


Unfortunately, loss of forest habitat to logging, agriculture, gold mining, colonization, and road construction has cut the Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager’s range nearly in half since 1960. The bird has become increasingly scarce in remaining fragmented habitat outside of protected areas such as Corcovado National Park. As a result, the Osa Peninsula is recognized by the Alliance for Zero Extinction as being critical for the protection of this species.


In 2008, ABC helped Osa Conservation (OC) purchase and protect nearly 2,000 acres of habitat for the Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager at OC’s Cerro Osa Reserve. In 2011, ABC, the state of Wisconsin, and the Southern Wings Program – a partnership of U.S. state agencies – helped OC obtain an additional 1,300 acres of habitat.


Click here to learn more about this bird!


Photo by Dan Lebbin; Range Map, ABC