Flame-Colored Tanager

Piranga bidentata
Range Map

There are few records of this species in Texas. They rarely come north of the USA-Mexico border. Southern Arizona has hosted a small resident contingent of these birds since the early 1990s, but authorities list the Texas birds as “casual” or “accidental”. In Mexico and Central America, most scientists agree these birds are nonmigratory, and remain year-round in their range.

Scientist recognise four subspecies of Flame-Colored Tanager:

  • P. b. bidentata lives in northwestern Mexico.
  • P. b. flammea, lives in southwest Mexico.
  • P. b. sanguinolenta lives in northeastern Mexico, and south to Nicaragua.
  • P. b. citrea lives from Costa Rica to Panama.

While I was enjoying my South Padre Island vigil during the 2021 spring migration, a Flame-Colored Tanager came to visit us, and created quite a stir. When our bird first showed up on South Padre Island, the presumption was the bird was a female. But two weeks later, we heard the bird singing. This led us to speculate that we had an immature male on our hands.

6 Photos

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