Birdorable Brown Tanager and Brown-flanked Tanager

Birdorable Brown Tanager (left) and Brown-flanked Tanager (right)

Two of our newest birds here at Birdorable are the Brown Tanager and Brown-flanked Tanager. The two different species may seem similar at first glance due to their names, but they have distinct characteristics, ranges, habits, and habitats. Let's dive into the details of these two fascinating birds.

The Brown Tanager

The Brown Tanager (Orchesticus abeillei) is a small bird endemic to Brazil where it is found in the highlands of the southeast.  It prefers the dense, humid forests of the Atlantic Forest biome, often at elevations between 900 and 2,000 meters. This bird's plumage is predominantly brown, as its name suggests, but it can have subtle variations in shade. The Brown Tanager is relatively elusive, making it a treat for birdwatchers who manage to spot it.

The diet of the Brown Tanager consists mainly of insects; fruits are an occasional treat. Brown Tanagers are often seen foraging alone or in pairs, though they may join mixed-species feeding flocks during certain times of the year.

The Brown Tanager is the only species in its genus, Orchesticus

The Brown-flanked Tanager

The Brown-flanked Tanager (Thlypopsis pectoralis) is also an endemic species, this one found only in Peru.  This bird favors montane forests, typically between 2,500 and 3,200 meters in elevation. The Brown-flanked Tanager is easily recognizable by its distinctive rufous-orange head and breast on an otherwise drab grey-brown body.

The Brown-flanked Tanager's diet is comprised mostly of prey items including insects, moths, and caterpillars. One interesting aspect of the Brown-flanked Tanager's behavior is its participation in mixed-species flocks. These flocks, common in Andean forests, consist of various bird species that move together while foraging. This behavior helps reduce the risk of predation and increases foraging efficiency.

The Brown-flanked Tanager is a member of the genus Thlypopsis, a group of 8 tanager species with a widespread range across parts of South America.

A Tale of Two Tanagers

For bird enthusiasts, observing these two species offers a chance to appreciate the diversity of tanagers and the unique adaptations that allow them to thrive in their respective environments. Whether it's the quiet beauty of the Brown Tanager in Brazil's highland forests or the active presence of the Brown-flanked Tanager in the Andean montane forests of Peru, each bird brings its own charm to the avian world. We proudly welcome these tropical avian friends to our big Birdorable family!

New Birdorable Tanagers Apparel & Gifts

2021 Bonanza Bird #3

Meet the Colorful Birdorable Blue-gray Tanager: A Tropical Delight!

Birdorable Abdim's Stork

Today, we're thrilled to introduce the vibrant and charming Blue-gray Tanager to the Birdorable family! This tropical beauty is sure to captivate bird enthusiasts with its stunning appearance and delightful personality.

Blue-gray Tanagers are native to a wide range of habitats, making them a versatile and adaptable species. You can spot these striking songbirds in various wooded and open environments, stretching from central Mexico to the northern regions of South America. With their extensive range, they have become a beloved sight for birdwatchers across the continent.

One of the remarkable characteristics of the Blue-gray Tanager is its diverse diet. These avian wonders have a palate that includes fruits, seeds, insects, and even nectar on occasion. Their ability to feed on a variety of food sources showcases their resourcefulness and adaptability in their chosen habitats.

What truly sets the Blue-gray Tanager apart is its enchanting plumage. These birds boast a captivating blend of blue and gray tones, which makes them a true tropical gem. Their vibrant colors are a testament to the beauty of the natural world, and observing them in the wild is an unforgettable experience.

Blue-gray Tanager photo
Blue-gray Tanager by Becky Matsubara (CC BY 2.0)

Unlike some migratory species, Blue-gray Tanagers are resident birds, meaning they remain in their habitats throughout the year. This makes them a reliable sight for bird enthusiasts who wish to enjoy their colorful presence whenever they venture into the great outdoors.

The Blue-gray Tanager is a perfect addition to the Birdorable collection, and we're excited to share its beauty with you. Stay tuned for more exciting additions to our Birdorable family as we continue to celebrate the wonderful world of birds.

Tomorrow's new bird is the smallest species of stork in the world. Do you know the name of this bird?

Cute Blue-gray Tanager Gifts

Discover the Colorful World of North America's Tanagers

Four Birdorable Tanagers

From left: Scarlet Tanager, Western Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, and Summer Tanager

The tanagers are a family of songbirds found across the Americas. These small birds tend to be colorful; often males are more brightly plumaged than females.

Tanagers in name only?

There are four species of tanager found in North America. These are the Western Tanager, Summer Tanager, Scarlet Tanager, and Hepatic Tanager. They are in the genus Piranga and are thought to be closely related to cardinals; they may not belong in the tanagers' Thraupidae family at all.

Colorful Across the Americas

In total there are over 200 species of tanager. Most are found in tropical habitats, and many species have relatively small native ranges. For example, the Green-headed Tanager is found along a narrow strip extending from southeast Brazil down into southeastern Paraguay and northeast Argentina.

Photo of Western Tanager

Western Tanager at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge

Western is Most North

North America's Western Tanager is notable for being the northern-most ranging species of tanager. This migratory species breeds as far north as Canada's Northwest Territories. They spend the winters in Central America.

Hepatic: I'm Huge in South America

In the United States, the Hepatic Tanager is only found as a breeding bird in the southwestern mountains. However, the species has a very large native range and many birds are permanent residents across a large portion of South America.

Summer's Pretty Song

Most tanagers are not known for their pretty song, but the Summer Tanager is an exception. It sings a melodic tune that reminds many of the American Robin's song.

Photo of Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager at Wayne National Forest

Cowbird's Target

The Scarlet Tanager is particularly susceptible to brood parasitism from Brown-headed Cowbirds. Being forest nesters, they never developed a strategy against the rogue-nesting cowbirds. Segmented habitat (due to human developement) means tanagers more often nest near open habitats favored by cowbirds, rather than deep inside old-growth forests where cowbirds rarely occur.

Ripe Old Age

The longevity record for wild Western Tanagers is nearly seven years; for wild Summer Tanagers it is nearly eight years; and for wild Scarlet Tanagers the record is nearly twelve years. These records were collected via bird banding.

Cute Birdorable Tanager Gifts

12 Days of Birdorable

Unwrapping Nature's Gifts: The Gold-ringed Tanager in Birdorable's Holiday Series

Five Birdorable Golden-ringed Tanagers

On the fifth day of Birdorable, my true love sent to me ... 5 Gold-ringed Tanagers! As we joyously proceed with our 12 Days of Birdorable, today marks the introduction of a vibrant new feathered friend—the Birdorable Gold-ringed Tanager, a stunning addition to our growing family of avian species.

Venturing creatively beyond the traditional "Five Gold Rings" from the cherished "The 12 Days of Christmas" carol, we're thrilled to present the Gold-ringed Tanager. This bird, with its striking appearance and endemic status to Colombia, is a true treasure of the natural world, deserving of a spotlight in our festive countdown.

Adorned with vibrant hues that could rival any precious metal, the Gold-ringed Tanager features a mesmerizing combination of black, bright yellow, and blue, accented with golden rings around its body that gleam like the sun filtering through a dense forest canopy. This small but incredibly striking bird inhabits the cloud forests of Colombia, a habitat that is as unique and enchanting as the tanager itself.

As we revel in the beauty of the Gold-ringed Tanager on this fifth day of Birdorable, let's be reminded of the incredible diversity of life that shares this planet with us. Let the festive season be a time of joy, wonder, and a deeper connection to the natural world, with the Birdorable Gold-ringed Tanager leading the way in our hearts and imaginations.

This is the fifth day of our 12 Days of Birdorable holiday event. Previously featured were: