Lynda Goff Photography
Neotropical Tanagers are the jewels of Central and South Ameria and 377 species (Thraupidae) have been described. From Bird Families of the World, Winkler et al, 2015:" The [neotropical] tanagers have diversified the most from those that long-ago colonized the region from the north. With some of the most stunning and idiosyncratic combinations of colors and patterns found in any bird, their morphological variation is just as remarkable --the distintively hooked bills of the flowerpiercers all the way to the deep seed-cracking bills of Darwin's finches. Most eat diets that include seeds of fruit and insects. Monogamous mating systems are surprisingly predominant in this diverse and brightly adorned group. It is thus surprising that, as in cardinalids, the route to spectacular diversity of plumages appear not to have been through the simple action of sexual selection."