Blue grey Tanager (Thraupis episcopus)

Blue-grey Tanager

[order] Passeriformes | [family] Thraupidae | [latin] Thraupis episcopus | [UK] Blue-grey Tanager | [FR] Tangara eveque | [DE] Bischofstangare | [ES] Azulejo de Jardin | [IT] Tangara grigio-azzurra | [NL] Bisschops-tangare


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Thraupis episcopus LA s Mexico to Bolivia, Amazonia
Thraupis episcopus berlepschi
Thraupis episcopus caerulea
Thraupis episcopus caesitia
Thraupis episcopus cana
Thraupis episcopus coelestis
Thraupis episcopus cumatilis
Thraupis episcopus ehrenreichi
Thraupis episcopus episcopus
Thraupis episcopus leucoptera
Thraupis episcopus major
Thraupis episcopus mediana
Thraupis episcopus nesophilus
Thraupis episcopus quaesita
Thraupis episcopus urubambae

Physical charateristics

The Blue-gray Tanager is 18 cm long and weighs 35 g. Adults have a pale blue-gray head and underparts, with darker blue upperparts. The bill is short and quite thick. Sexes are similar, but the immature is much duller in plumage.

Listen to the sound of Blue-grey Tanager

[audio: Tanager.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 16 cm size max.: 17 cm
incubation min.: 14 days incubation max.: 15 days
fledging min.: 17 days fledging max.: 18 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


Its range stretches from southern Mexico to south of the Amazon river.


Blue-gray tanagers, unlike most other tropical birds, prefer semi-open habitat and can often be found near human development, even nesting near or on buildings. Is common at all altitudes in a variety of nonforest habitats.


The breeding habitat is open woodland, cultivated areas and gardens. One to three, usually two, dark-marked whitish to grey green eggs are laid in a deep cup nest in a high tree fork or building crevice. Incubation by the female is 14 days with another 17 to fledging. The nest is sometimes parasitised by Molothrus cowbirds.

Feeding habits

The Blue-grey Tanager comes down to feed near the ground much more rarely than do the Tangara species. It will stay alomst always 3 meter above ground, up to about 10 meter. When insect-searching, the Blue-gray Tanager typically seeks prey that escape by moving rather than relying on being well-hidden. Its usual method is to hop fairly swiftly along a branch among foliage, examining the undersides of leaves and branches above it and the uppersides of leaves on its own level, and darting forward or fluttering up to snatch its
prey. Blue-gray Tanagers take a variety of fruits, always eating them while perched. They frequently take pieces out of larger fruits. Or it plucks a fruit, flies with it to another perch, and there lays it across a branch and eats pieces out of it.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 7,900,000 km². The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as ‘common’ in at least parts of its range (Stotz et al. 1996). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern
Blue-grey Tanager status Least Concern


Sedentary throughout range

Distribution map

Blue-grey Tanager range map


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