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Piranga olivacea1.jpg
Scarlet Tanager
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cardinalidae
Genus: Piranga
Vieillot, 1808

see species list

Piranga is a genus of birds long placed in the tanager family, but now considered members of the cardinal family, Cardinalidae. The genus name Piranga is from Tupi Tijepiranga, the name for an unknown small bird.[1]

Similar in shape and habits to the true tanagers, their coloration betrays their actual relationships. They are essentially red, orange or yellow all over, except the tail and wings and in some species also the back. Such extensive lipochrome coloration (except on the belly) is very rare in true tanagers, but is widespread among the Cardinalidae.

These songbirds are found high in tree canopies, and are not very gregarious in their breeding areas. Piranga species pick insects from leaves, or sometimes in flight. They will also take some fruit. Several species are migratory, breeding in North America and wintering in the tropics.

Species in taxonomic order[edit]


  1. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. p. 308. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.