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Hepatic Tanager


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Hepatic Tanager is a bird of the pine-oak forests of the southwestern mountains.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
7.9 in
20 cm
12.6 in
32 cm
0.8–1.7 oz
23–47 g
Other Names
  • Tangara orangé (French)
  • Tángara roja piquioscura, Tángara bermeja, Piranga rojiza, Quitrique de los altiplanos, Piranga encinera, Piranga aguacatera, Cardenal avispero (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Although the Hepatic Tanager has the most restricted range of the four tanagers in the United States, in fact it is the most widespread member of its genus. It breeds from the southwestern United States southward all the way to Argentina.
  • The Hepatic Tanager may include three different species: the Hepatic Tanager, found from the United States southward to Nicaragua; the Tooth-billed Tanager, found from Costa Rica to northern South America; and the Red Tanager of eastern and southeastern South America. The two southern forms lack the dusky ear coverts of the northern form.
  • The Hepatic Tanager has been little studied. As of 2002, only 106 had been banded in the United States, and only one banded bird had ever been recovered.



Found in open pine and pine-oak forests.



Insects and some fruits.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–5 eggs
Egg Description
Bluish green speckled with brown or purple, especially around the large end.
Condition at Hatching
Nest Description

Nest a flat cup of plant fibers, grasses, and twigs. Lined with pine needles and soft materials. Placed in fork near end of horizontal tree branch.

Nest Placement



Foliage Gleaner

Moves slowly and deliberately through foliage, working out from base of lower limbs. Flies out and catches flushed insects.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

Hepatic Tanager populations and range appears to have increased between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 20 million, with 5% breeding in the U.S., and 9% spending some part of the year in Mexico. The species rates a 7 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Hepatic Tanager is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds Watch List.


Range Map Help

Hepatic Tanager Range Map
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