Most tanagers are multi-colored birds of tropical forests in Central and South America. Four species including the Summer Tanager breed in North America. There are places in South America, in the foothills of the Andes, where flocks of small birds may include a rainbow palette of a dozen species of tanagers. As in most tanagers, only the male has brilliant plumage. The Blue-Gray Tanager is probably the most widespread and my personal favorite since I first saw it at Machu Picchu. Tanagers are often brightly colored, but some species are more subdued. Males are typically more brightly colored than females and juveniles. Most tanagers have short, rounded wings. The shape of the bill seems to be linked to the species’ foraging habits. I am trying a little different format, fewer but larger photos with a short description, which loads a little slower but gives you the reader a better view. Let me know what you think.
The Blue-Gray Tanager is 6.3–7.1 inches (16–18 cm) long and weighs 1.1–1.4 oz (30–40 gm). The sexes look the same. Its range is from Mexico south to northeast Bolivia and northern Brazil, all of the Amazon Basin, except the very south.
The Silver-Throated Tanager is 5.1 inches (13 cm) long and weighs 0.74 oz (21 gm). The females have a green tinged plumage. It is a resident from Costa Rica, through Panama and western Colombia, to western Ecuador.
The Flame-Colored Tanager is 7–7.5 inches (18–19 cm) long and weighs 1.2–1.4 oz (33.3–39.4 gm). The males are red and the females yellow. It is found in the mountains of Mexico, and throughout Central America to northern Panama.
The White-Winged Tanager is 4.8–5.9 inches (12.2–15 cm) long and weighs about 0.46–0.51 ounces (13–14.5 gm). The male is mostly red, with black wings and white wing bars. The female is dull olive-yellow but retains the black wings and white wing bars. It is found in from Mexico to Bolivia, Brazil, Guyana, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
Passerini’s tanager is 6.3 inches (16 cm) long and weighs 1.1 ox (31 gm). The female has a grey head, olive upperparts becoming brighter and paler on the rump, brownish wings and tail and ochre underparts. It is found from southern Mexico to western Panama.
Cherrie’s Tanager is 6.3 inches (16 cm) long and weighs 1.1 oz (31 g). The female has a grey head, olive upperparts, orange rump, brownish wings and tail, and ochre underparts with a broad orange breast band. It is found on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Panama.
The Golden-Hooded Tanager is 5.1 inches (13 cm) long and weighs 0.67 oz (19 gm). Females have a greenish tinge to the head, sometimes with black speckling on the crown, and more extensively white underparts. It is found from southern Mexico south to western Ecuador.
The Summer Tanager is 6.7 inches (17 cm) in length and weighs 1 oz (29 gm). Females are orangish on the underparts and olive on top, with olive-brown wings and tail. Their breeding habitat is open wooded areas, especially with oaks, across the southern United States, extending as far north as Iowa. These birds migrate to Mexico, Central America and northern South America.
Palm Tanagers are 7.5 inches (19 cm) long and weigh 1.3 oz (36 gm). Sexes are similar, although females may be somewhat paler. This tanager is a resident breeder from Nicaragua south to Bolivia, Paraguay and southern Brazil. It also breeds on Trinidad and, since 1962, on Tobago.
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