Asa Wright, Arima Valley
Blue gray throughout but brighter blue on the upperparts and violet blue on the wing
coverts. The tail is dull blue edged bright blue. The bill is short and quite thick.
Sexes are similar, but the immature is much duller in plumage. The size is 18 cm long and
weight is 35g. There are 13 subspecies with varying shades of blue and white on the
shoulders.. T. e. berlepschi is endemic to Tobago, and is a brighter and darker blue on
the rump and shoulder.
In addition to fruit, the Blue-Gray Tanager also takes some nectar from large flowering trees such as the Immortelle (Erythrina micropteryx and Erythrina glauca) and Yellow Poui (Tabebuia serratifolia). They are also insect eaters. They tend to perch and look downwards when searching for food and examine the undersides of leaves and branches for insects. Very rarely will they feed on the ground. When insect searching they seek prey that moves to escape as opposed to prey that remains hidden in an attempt at escape.
Family - Tanager
Other Name - Blue Tanager
Local Names - Blue Jean, Bluebird
Latin Name - Thaupis episcopus
Range - Mexico south to northeast Bolivia and northern Brazil.
Les Efforts, San Fernando
Photo courtesy Stuart Elsom
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds of the World, David Alderton. 2004 Lorenz Books, London
B.K. Snow & D. W. Snow, 1971. The Feeding Ecology of Tanages and Honeycreepers In Trinidad. The Auk, 88 291 - 322
A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. 2nd edition, Richard ffrench. 1992, Helm, London
Birds of Venezuela. Steven L. Hilty. 2003, Christopher Helm, London
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