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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Hepatic Tanager -- Piranga flava

RANGE: Breeds from southeastern California and northwestern Arizona through New Mexico and the Trans-Pecos region of Texas, south through the highlands of Mexico and Central America to central Argentina. Winters from northern Mexico through the breeding range; casually in southern California and southern Arizona in winter.

STATUS: Fairly common.

HABITAT: Generally favors dense pine and pine-oak woodlands between 5,000 and 7,500 feet in elevation, but also inhabits the more monotypic pine, oak, and pinyon-juniper woodlands near streams.

NEST: Builds a flat, saucer-shaped nest, usually in a fork near the end of a horizontal tree branch, 15 to 50 feet above the ground.

FOOD: Gleans insects from branches and leaves of oaks and pines. It occasionally hawks for flying insects, and during the summer eats some fruits. (No studies of food habits have been reported.)

REFERENCES: Bent 1958, Phillips et al. 1964, Terrill in Farrand 1983c.

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