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Blue-Gray Tanager

CONSERVATION STATUS : LEAST CONCERN
COMMON EXTINCT
Classification:

Other Common Names: Blue Jean
Order:
Passeriformes
Genus & Species: Thraupis episcopus
Family: Thraupidae

Status:

Listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Range:

Southern Mexico to the northern edge of the Amazon River basin. Introduced to southern Florida.

Habitat:

Semi-open forests, woodlands, urban parks, and gardens.

Activity:

Diurnal. They are seen in pairs of small groups and spend much of their time on the ground searching for food.

Size:

Adults average 6 inches in length from head to tail and weigh 1.4-2.1 oz.

Longevity:

Up to 9.5 years in the wild and up to 12 years in captivity.

Diet:

Diet in the Wild: Primarily fruit, but will also eat insects and nectar.

Diet in the Zoo: “Softbill pellets” for fruit-eating birds, insect larvae (super worms, mealworms, waxworms), and mixed veggie/fruit salad.

Description:

Named for its two-toned coloration which is gray or light blue on the head and chest and a brighter blue along the winds and tail. There are 13 known subspecies that are distinguished by variations in color by geographic region. While both sexes are similar in appearance, the color of the female is generally duller and grayer than that of the male.

Reproduction:

Breeding season is from March – July. In a high tree-fork or building crevice, they build a thick, deep cup-nest comprised of plant material and animal hair. The female lays 1 to 3 blue-white eggs. She incubates the eggs for 12-14 days before they hatch, after which both parents gather food for their young. At 17 days of age, the young leave the nest.

Ecology, Adaptations, Etc:

Unlike many other tanagers, blue-gray tanagers have a low degree of sensitivity to areas of human habitation; they are common in cultivated and suburban gardens as well as other natural habitats.