Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves (Feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic, egg-laying, vertebrates)
Order: Passeriformes (passerines or perching birds)
Family: Thraupidae  (Tanagers)

Genus/species: Thraupis episcopus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Blue-gray Tanagers are medium-sized light bluish gray, with brighter blue margins to the wings and tail. The wing coverts are bright blue. The bill is short and quite thick. Males and females look-alike.

Length 6.3-7.1 inches and weighs 1.1-1.4 oz.

Blue-grey tanager3151558297_1c281e57c8_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: T. episcopus is from central Mexico to northern parts of Bolivia and Brazil and is common throughout much of Costa Rica. Found in semi-open habitats; often found near cultivated areas, especially fruit orchards.

DIET IN THE WILD: Omnivore feeding on insects, spiders, and fruit. Also sometimes eat flowers, leaves, and nectar.

Thraupis episcopus 3259027098_b449539716_b

REPRODUCTION: The female incubates 2 pale blue-gray eggs with brown speckles laid in open cup nest that is concealed well by vegetation for 12–14 days. Once eggs hatch, both parents feed young, which fledge in about 17 days.

LIFE SPAN: 10-15 years.

PREDATORS: Birds of prey, snakes, wild and feral cats.

SONG and MAPS:  xeno-canto


REMARKS: Pairs or groups participate in noisy singing and chattering, though the song is not particularly musical.  As fruit-eaters, these birds play an important role in seed dispersal for trees and shrubs in the tropics.

On the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, the Blue-grey Tanager is called “Blue Jean.”



California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017

National Aviary

Cornell Lab of Ornithology…


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