Documentation of Hepatic Tanager

Observer Information

Reporter:  Diana Beatty  22 Otowi Drive,   Colorado Springs, CO  80911
Other Observers:  Kristine Beatty. (We were not first observers of this species, we were following up on reports by others in eBird and WhatsApp, but no one else had as of yet submitted a record.)

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Hepatic Tanager
First Date/Time:  6/21/2023 8:30:00 AM
Last Date/Time:  6/21/2023 8:45:00 AM
Duration (total time in view):  10 minutes
County:  Fremont
Specific Location:  Location Not Listed
Number:  2
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Multiple Birds - Mixed
Plumage:  Breeding


RV campground in loose conifer forest

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Canon SX70 camera and Vortex Razor 10x42 and Swarovski 10x25 binoculars
Distance:  30-50 yards
Light:  mid-morning good light on a clear day under light trees

Description of the Bird

One red-orange tanager and one dull yellow tanager, both obsessively defending territory from their reflections in a car's rearview mirror and front windshield.  The yellow one would come in first from about 1/2 to 2/3 up a nearby conifer down to the vehicle and go straight for the mirror.  The red-orange one spent more time in the trees and would come in to the vehicle less often.  I am not an expert, but I believe the birds were a potential breeding pair, an adult male and an adult female.

Similar Species Discussion

Since these birds were already located by others I didn't spent a great deal of time on ID but the distinctive red-orange coloring of the male as well as the tan cheek patch seemed to distinguish well from other tanagers.

Resources Used

I used existing eBird reports of these particular birds and the AllAboutBirds species page from Cornell.

Previous Experience

This was my first time seeing this species.  I have some other North American 'tanagers' like Western and Summer which are quite different from this.


Review of photos

Materials Available

Photographer: Diana Beatty

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

6/27/2023 10:00:00 PM
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Location Map

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