Olive-backed Tanager Mitrospingus oleagineus

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Identification

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A bulky bird of tepui highlands, often encountered in groups. Unlikely to be confused within its limited range; plumage mostly coppery-olive (may tend toward yellow in sunlight) with a contrasting gray face and throat. Stout bill is silvery gray. Occurs in canopy of tepui highland forest, generally above 800 m, where groups forage noisily through vegetation, probing into epiphytes and dead leaves and hopping clumsily along branches, eating whatever is in their path. Frequents fruiting trees, and may join mixed-species flocks but are just as likely to be found away from them. Most typical call is a dreadful high-pitched screech, modulated as if the bird is being squeezed, and sounding quite literally like fingernails on a chalkboard.

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