Blue-grey tanager in exhibit

Blue-grey Tanager

Scientific Name

Thraupis episcopus

Class

Aves

Order

Passeriformes

Range

Mexico through northern South America

Habitat

Forests, woodlands, and some developed areas

Estimated Wild Population

5–50 million
Blue-grey tanager in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

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Physical Description

Blue-gray tanagers were named for their two-toned coloration: gray or light blue on their head and chest, deepening to a brighter blue coloration along their wings and tail. These medium-sized songbirds have black eyes and a short, thick, blueish-gray bill. They prefer semi-open areas and high spaces, often feeding at the tops of trees and perching on phone wires.

Interesting Fact 1

Blue-gray tanagers feed primarily on soft fruit, like tangerines, but they also eat insects and nectar.

Interesting Fact 2

In the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, they have earned the nickname “blue jean” due to their coloration.

Interesting Fact 3

Females lay one to three spotted eggs in a cup-shaped nest.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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