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Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus

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The Blue-gray Tanager is one of the most widespread, and ubiquitous, birds of the humid lowland neotropics. At almost any location between southeastern Mexico and central South America, it is a familiar presence at forest edge, in second-growth, along roads and rivers, in plantations, and even in urban parks and gardens. Blue-gray Tanagers prefer semi-open habitats; they are not found in interior of closed canopy forest, but they can quickly colonize fresh clearings. They are flexible as well in their diet, eating a wide variety of fruit, and also foraging for arthropods. Blue-gray Tanagers typically travel in pairs or small single-species flocks. They may briefly join mixed-species flocks, but do not travel with such flocks; however, Blue-gray Tanagers often join mixed-species aggregations of birds that are attracted to fruiting trees. Adult Blue-gray Tanagers are predominately light bluish gray, with brighter blue margins to the wings and tail. The wing coverts are bright blue on the subspecies that occur from Mexico to northern South America, and in South America west of the Andes; other subspecies have more or less contrasting, whitish wing coverts. The juveniles of all subspecies are duller in color, and closely resemble the Sayaca Tanager (Thraupis sayaca) of eastern South America.

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Song (Blue-gray)

© David L Ross, Jr.

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/bugtan