Friday, November 5, 2010

Tricky Tanager

The tanager starring in Marco's video (below) has been a regular at the feeders for about three weeks. At first glance it appears to be a Palm Tanager, but the plumage is dull gray with only a few hints of the iridescent olive-green that Palms show. It is more the color of a Plain-colored Tanager, but much larger than a Plain-colored and even a bit larger than a Palm. It shows none of the blue tones of a Blue-gray Tanager. It most frequently comes to the feeders with the Plain-colored Tanagers, but always appears to be a little lost and not really a member of the pack. There are numerous accounts and photos on the web of hybrids between Blue-gray and Palm Tanagers, but all the photos of them show blue coloration in the plumage.

This is probably a Palm x Blue-gray hybrid, the obvious choice. But we're not comfortable with that based on what we've seen elsewhere. Particularly, non-phaeomelanin schizochroism under Abnormal Plumages at:


  1. Hi, I took these pictures today at Gamboa! It looks like a hybrid too! I posted your webpage as a reference, here is the direct link to my public Facebook gallery.


  2. Thanks for the shot. (Your Facebook link is not public, though.)