The Hepatic Tanagers (Piranga flava) are medium-sized songbirds that are members of the Tanager family, Thraupidae.
Distribution / Habitat:
The Hepatic Tanagers are one of only five Tanager species that occur naturally in North America.
In the United States, they are found in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Their range stretches south to Mexico.
The Hepatic Tanager is larger and stockier than other tanager species, measuring about 6.75 inches in length (including the relatively short tail).
It has a stout, dark bill.
- The plumage is mostly red, brightest on the plumage below. They have dark cheeks
- The back is olive and the underparts are orange-yellow. She also has dark cheeks.
- The wings and tail are grey.
- Juvenile birds look similar to females.
- The male Hepatic Tanager resembles the male Summer Tanager but can be identified by his dark bill and cheeks. Females can be told from female Summer Tanagers by the darker cheeks and bills.
- The male Scarlet Tanager has black wings and tail. Female Scarlet Tanager has more yellow underparts and a paler cheek.
- The female Western Tanager can be identified by the wing bars. The habits of the Hepatic Tanager resemble those of the Western Tanager.
Song / Call:
Their calls are described as low, dry chup sounds, similar to those of the Hermit Thrushs. The song is clearer than other Tanagers. It is somewhat reminiscent to that of the Black-headed Grosbeak. In flight, it emits a husky and rising weet.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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