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Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava


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Hepatic Tanager, male
credit: Elaine R. Wilson/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Thraupidae, Tanagers view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Red overall, brightest on crown, throat, and undertail coverts; gray wash to back and on ear coverts. ADULT FEMALE Yellow-olive overall, with grayish wash to back and flanks, but brighter yellow forecrown and throat; latter features are best guide to separation from plain yellowish form of female Summer. IMMATURE Recalls adult female, but is duller overall.

Dimensions Length: 7-8" (18-20 cm)

Habitat Locally common summer visitor (mainly May-Aug) to montane pine and pine-oak forests in southwest; range extends into Mexico. Winters mainly in Mexico.

Observation Tips Fairly easy to see in suitable habitats and sometimes can be seen singing from an exposed perch.

Range Southwest, Texas, California, Rocky Mountains

Voice Song is a series of short, vibrant whistling phrases, most slurred, disyllabic, and robinlike; call is a soft tchup.

Discussion Rather large tanager, with a flatter-capped appearance than Summer. Also note gray not yellowish bill. Male is colorful, but slightly subdued in comparison with male Summer. Diet includes insects during breeding season, but berries and fruit at other times. Sexes are dissimilar.