Saturday, April 30, 2022

Blue-Gray Tanager

The blue-gray tanager has a distribution through most of northern South America, Central America and up into southern Mexico. It has a light bluish head and underparts, darker blue upperparts and a shoulder-patch with a varied color depending on which of the 14 subspecies are represented. Even the bill, legs and feet seem to be a version of bluish-black. 
Blue-gray tanager at Amagusa Preserve in Mashpi.

Different subspecies have different colors, particularly on the shoulder-patch. The subspecies in Tobago (T. e. berlepschi) has a brighter and darker blue on the rump and shoulder; the subspecies in northern Venezuela, Trinidad, eastern Colombia and northern Brazil (T. e. neosophilus) has a violet shoulder patch; the subspecies in the southern Amazon basin (T. e. mediana) has a white wing patch; and the subspecies in the northern Amazon (T. e. cana) has blue shoulders. The subspecies I saw (T. e. quaesita) in southwestern Colombia, western Ecuador and northwestern Peru has a turquoisish-blue shoulder patch. 
Blue-gray tanager at Milpe Bird Sanctuary outside Mindo. 

It is widespread and common throughout its large range. For comparison, there are 516,939 observations and 11,864 photos of it on eBird. The black-chinned mountain tanager has has 3,992 and 415 and the glistening-green tanager has 5,627 and 374, respectively. 
Blue-gray tanager at Las Terrazzas de Dana in Mindo.

1 comment:

  1. Even in a "monochromatic" bird there is a lot of variation among the blues in the wings and tail.