Hepatic Tanager: Large tanager, dark to orange-red overall, gray wash on back and flanks. Gray-red cheek patch. Heavy, dark bill is slightly hooked. Legs and feet are gray. Forages in upper foliage of trees, sometimes catches insects in midair. Swift direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Hepatic Tanager: Breeds in southwest U.S. south to Mexico; also occurs from Costa Rica to South America. Spends winters south of U.S.-Mexico border. Inhabits open pine and pine-oak forests.
The Hepatic Tanager was traditionally placed in the tanager family, though it is now thought to be closer to cardinals.
Hepatic means involving or resembling the liver, and these tanagers are named for the coloration of the males which is known as liver-red.
It has been little studied. As of 2002, only 106 had been banded in the United States, and only one banded bird had ever been recovered.
A group of tanagers are collectively known as a "season" of tanagers.
The Hepatic Tanager has a large range, estimated globally at 5,600,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas, this bird prefers forest and savanna ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 360,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Hepatic Tanager is Least Concern.