The blue-necked tanager (Tangara cyanicollis) is a species of bird in the family Thraupidae.

DISTRIBUTION.  It is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.

HABITAT. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, and heavily degraded former forest. They are found at elevation from 300 to 2400 meters (~1,000 – 8,000 feet) above sea level – however, they are most common above 1000 m (~3,000 feet).

It prefers open spaces with lots of trees and brush, including parks and gardens

DESCRIPTION. The blue-necked tanager averages 12 cm in length and weighs approximately 17 g. They have a blue hood and throat. The wing coverts, wing edges, and rump are turquoise to a greenish straw color. The posterior underparts are black, violet, or blue. The juveniles are brownish gray, with a hint of adult coloration. Coloration of adults varies slightly by region. The beaks, legs, and feet are black. Males can be identified by their brighter-colored wing bars.

DIET. The diet of the blue-necked tanager consists of fruits, berries, flower blossoms and insects. Tanagers will pick insects from leaves, or sometimes in flight, but fruit is the major dietary item.

NESTING / BREEDING. The female builds a cup nest of moss, usually well concealed, and lays an average of 2 white eggs with brown spotting. Incubation is 13–14 days and the chicks fledge after 15–16 days. The male and female feed the nestlings on insects and fruit, and may be assisted by helpers.

SUBSPECIES. As of 2011, seven different subspecies of Tangara cyanicollis were officially recognized, each with its own particular coloration and specific geographical region. These include cyanopygia, the only species with a blue rump, found in western Ecuador; the Brazilian albotibialis, whose thighs and tibia are white; granadensis, found in the Colombian Andes; hannahiae, found in Venezuela; caeruleocephala, ranging from the Andes into Peru; melanogaster, native to Bolivia and Brazil; and, in Peru and Bolivia, Tangara cyanicollis cyanicollis.

AVICULTURE. There are concerns about the large numbers of this beautiful bird species being taken from their natural habitat and exported in large numbers to meet demands for the pet market. Some groups have dedicated themselves to establish captive breeding programs in the United States specifically to be able to supply captive-bred instead of wild-caught birds.

CONSERVATION STATUS. While a steady supply of birds is taken from this environment for the pet trade, the species for now still carries the IUCN’s “least concern” designation due to its large range and distribution.