The Flame-colored Tanager
A Flame-colored Tanager is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Flame-colored Tanagers. We have also put together a list of fun Flame-colored Tanager t-shirts, Flame-colored Tanager bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird watching items.
About Flame-colored Tanagers
The Flame-colored Tanager is a medium-sized bird that belongs to the family Cardinalidae and is native to North America. Its distribution ranges from northern Panama, Central America to the mountains of Mexico. It was formerly known as the Stripe-backed Tanager but was changed to Flame-colored Tanager after being classified in the cardinal family.
Description and Identification
Flame-colored Tanagers are gorgeously colored birds that have a plumage that is pre-
dominantly colored like a flame. These birds are 7 inches long and weigh about 1.1-1.7 oz. The
underparts of these birds are entire flame-orange, although the intensity of the color keeps fading
towards the feet. The mantle and back of Flame-colored Tanagers are dusky oranges, and their rump is
pale with an absence of streaking. Although females are patterned like males their lower bodies
and heads are yellow. Juvenile Flame-colored Tanagers look similar to females but the male
immatures have red or orange-red heads and lower bodies. The song of Flame-colored Tanagers
consists of a number of long phrases of 3-6 notes. Sung from a high perch, this song is rich and
pleasing to hear. “chewee-very-virem chewee-ver-vire-very, cheery-cheweea” is the transcription of
the song commonly sung by these birds. Unlike their melodious song, their call is the loud and
sharp “chi-díck” or “per-díck”.
Flame-colored Tanager Color Pattern
As the name suggests, the Flame-colored Tanager has a flame-colored body. Both males and females are orange and have brownish cheeks that carry their dark bill. The bill is black on the upper mandible and gray on the lower mandibles. It has a black-streaked olive-green back and dark gray-brown wings coupled with white wing bars. The dark gray-brown extends to the tails. Different morphs also differ in color as some could be pure orange while others could be brilliant red-orange.
Flame-colored Tanager Size
For birds in the cardinal family, the Flame-colored Tanager can be considered a medium-sized bird. Their bodies range between 18-19cm in length and have a wingspan averaging 31cm. Their weight ranges between 33 and 39g.
Flame-colored Tanager Behavior
The Flame-colored Tanager has a swift flight pattern and flaps its wings rapidly when flying from one tree to the other. This is done while foraging especially in orchards as they love fruit. They glean insects from foliage and branches but rarely have they been seeing catching insects mid-air.
They build their nests into a cup shape using sticks, conifer needles, grass and rootlets.
Flame-colored Tanager Food
The diet of Flame-colored Tanagers mainly consists of small arthropods, insects, and a variety of
berries. Berries of Ericaeae, melastomes, satyria, and ficus are commonly consumed by flame-
colored tanagers. These birds are not very social, therefore they very rarely hunt in small groups.
Flame-colored tanagers are visual hunters who forage for insects while being perched on
branches of trees. Sometimes these birds might descend to the ground to pick fruits from fruiting
They love eating fruit but also eat insects. These are both enjoyed during the summer season when they are available in abundance. The Flame-colored Tanager does not like it when other birds invade their food source. As such, they are a bit aggressive to try and wade off other birds.
Flame-colored Tanager Habitat
Flame-colored Tanagers can commonly be found on treetops in open forests in mountainous
regions. These birds have been observed to inhabit regions with elevations as high as 9350 feet.
Coniferous, pine-oak, and oak forests are the habitats preferred by Flame-colored Tanagers.
The Flame-colored Tanager loves treetop canopies found in moist and humid mountain forests. They like scattered trees in adjacent shade pastures such as those found in orchards.
Range and Migration
Flame-colored Tanagers, also previously known as stripe-backed tanagers are American songbirds
found in the tropics. The range of these birds extends from Mexico to northern Panama, while
also encompassing the entirety of Central America. Occasionally these birds can be spotted in the
mountains of the United States. Arizona, New Mexico, Sierra Madre, and southwestern portions of
Texas has been observed to have small populations of Flame-colored Tanagers. These birds are
permanent residents throughout their range.
Flame-colored Tanager Life Cycle
The female can lay 2-5 eggs. They keep the eggs incubated for 13-14 days when they will hatch. It is not clear when the young leave the nest but adults have a lifespan of 2-3 years.
Flame-colored Tanager Nesting
The breeding period of Flame-colored Tanagers can either be in April or May depending upon the
region that the population is residing in. The nests are built by females using materials such as slender
twigs, vile tendrils, and stiff rootlets. These nests are then lined with inflorescences and fine grass
stems. Flame-colored Tanagers generally choose nesting sites in regions with dense vegetation
so that they can provide the nests with protective cover. The elevation of the nests depends on the
regions Flame-colored Tanagers are residing in. The highest elevation recorded for the nests of
these birds is not more than 40 feet tall. Flame-colored Tanagers lay 2-3 pale blue eggs that have a
number of reddish-brown and lavender spots on the larger end.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Flame-colored Tanagers
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Flame-colored Tanagers are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Flame-colored Tanager T-shirts
If you love the Flame-colored Tanager you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Flame-colored Tanager Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Flame-colored Tanager is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Flame-colored Tanager Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Flame-colored Tanager. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Flame-colored Tanagers
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Flame-colored Tanagers
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.