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Blue-gray Tanager - BirdForum Opus

Inset showing pair; subspecies T. e. nesophilus
Photo © by rka
Maraval, Trinidad, 22 May 2016

Alternative name: Blue-grey Tanager

Thraupis episcopus


Length 16 cm, weight 27-45 g
This tanager is mostly grayish blue, with brightest colors on rump and upperparts. The subspecies vary in how much blue is found in the lighter parts. Sexes are similar, female a bit duller. The last seven subspecies have varying amounts of white on wing coverts and shoulder. Thread discussing Hybrid Blue-gray x Palm Tanager


Subspecies T. e. coelestis
Photo © by arthurgrosset
Near Tabatinga, Brazil, September 2003

From Eastern Mexico to eastern Peru (and one little area in western Peru), northern Bolivia, to Amazonian and northern Brazil, and from there to Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Guianas.



Thirteen different subspecies share the overall range of this species. Some are quite localized, like the bright T. e. berlepschi from Tobago[1].

  • T. e. cana: southeastern Mexico (San Luis Potosí) to northern Venezuela; winters Pearl Islands
  • T. e. caesita: Caribbean coast of western Panama (Escudo de Veraguas)
  • T. e. cumatilis: Coiba Island (off Pacific coast of Panama)
  • T. e. nesophilus: extreme eastern Colombia to eastern Venezuela and Trinidad
  • T. e. berlepschi: Tobago
  • T. e. quaesita: Pacific slope of south-western Colombia, western Ecuador and north-western Peru
  • T. e. leucoptera: eastern slope of Eastern Andes of central Colombia
  • T. e. mediana: southeastern Colombia to extreme northern Bolivia and northern Brazil
  • T. e. coelestis: tropical south-eastern Colombia to central Peru and western Amazonian Brazil
  • T.e. episcopus: the Guianas and northern Brazil
  • T.e. caerulea: southeastern Ecuador and northern Peru (south to Huánuco)
  • T.e. major: central Peru (Chanchamayo Valley of Ica)
  • T.e. urubambae: southeastern Peru (Urubamba Valley and Amazonian drainage)


Open forest gardens, parks, etc.


Generally seen in couples, eating fruits, bananas, guavas, papayas, etc.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Ridgely and Tudor 2009. Field guide to the songbirds of South America - the passerines. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX, USA. ISBN 978-0-292-71979-8
  3. Ber van Perlo. 2009. A field guide to the Birds of Brazil. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-530155-7
  4. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  5. Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/bugtan
  6. Hilty, S. (2019). Blue-grey Tanager (Tangara episcopus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/61634 on 3 August 2019).
  7. Schulenberg, T. S. & Stotz, D. F. & Lane, D. F. & O'Neill, J. P. & Parker III, T. A. & Egg, A. B. (2010). Birds of Peru: Revised and Updated Edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691130231

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