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Named after its outward appearance, which is almost entirely a glistening emerald. The distinctive patch on the ear-coverts are accompanied by a blue grey patch. The patch appears drabe to humans, but is known to strongly reflect UV light. A similar UV-colored patch is found on the lesser wing coverts and shoulders. Though glistening green, these thin-billed and strong-legged tanagers tend to blend into foliage, and move so quickly through vegetation that protracted observation is difficult. Typically, single birds, pairs, or small family groups join mixed-species flocks where they feed primarily on insects, but they are also known to regularly join feeding aggregations at fruiting trees.
The Glistening-green Tanager is endemic to the Pacific slopes of Colombia and northwest Ecuador where it is mainly found in wet forests at altitudes between 700m and 2200 m
Seen at San Jorge de Tandayapa Eco Lodge in the Cloud Forest