Turquoise Tanager Tangara mexicana

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae
  • Polytypic: 5 subspecies
  • Authors: Jennifer Hart and Kevin J. Burns

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


The most detailed information on the vocalizations of the Turquoise Tanager is from Tucker (2002), who studied birds in a captive population; the following discussion largely is based on her study.

The male and female Turquoise Tanager share a repertoire of one note, making up their unorganized song pattern heard phonetically as a thin “tzing (Tucker 2002). The same note is used by males and females but there is a relatively large difference between the frequencies detected between each gender. Females have a higher frequency call at 15 kHz, which is barely audible to the human ear; males have a lower frequency call at 10 kHz.

The high pitch notes given intermittently and rapidly, sometimes converging into a trill (Isler and Isler 1999). Ingels (1974), also studying a captive population, observed birds calling in flight only during flights of  greater than 18 m) and reported that birds were silent when perched or flying for shorter distances. Paired Turquoise Tanagers have been heard in a duetting manner while a male perched on a vine beneath a nest a female was building.

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported

Recommended Citation

Hart, J. and K. J. Burns (2011). Turquoise Tanager (Tangara mexicana), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.turtan1.01