Hepatic Tanager Piranga hepatica
Male Highland Hepatic Tanager, Otun-Quimbaya, Risaralda, Colombia, April 2012 - click for larger image Colombia and Peru

There has been some doubt as to whether or not the Hepatic Tanager ranging from south west United States to central Argentina is one, two or three species. The HBW and Birdlife International checklist resolves it into two species, the Hepatic Tanager P. hepatica and the Red Tanager P. flava. See the distribution map for the former species at Birdlife International.

Hepatic Tanager, Bosque de Yanahuanca, Cajamarca, Peru, October 2018 - click for larger image

The male, as seen here in photos 1 and 2 is mainly orange-red while the female in photo 3 is olive above and yellow below. Both sexes have dusky lores and this feature helps to distinguish it from the very similar Summer Tanager Piranga rubra which migrates from the USA to northern South America during the northern winter.

They are found in more open woodland and scrub habitats and appear to be benefiting from deforestation in some areas. They feed on a variety of fruit as well as insects of which bees and wasps seem to be favourites.

Hepatic Tanager, Abra Calla Calla, Cajamarca, Peru, October 2018 - click for larger image

The bird in photo 1 was recorded by Jeremy Minns

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