Tanager, a name given to the tanagrinoe, a very large division of the finch family, peculiar to America, and almost entirely confined to the southern portion of the continent, which contains nearly 200 of the more than 220 species described by Sclater. The bill has the upper mandible notched, and is usually triangular at the base and arched; the toes have strong claws, and the hind toe is long and strong. They are small and brilliant birds, the prevailing colors being orange, scarlet, and black; many have a pleasing song, and a few are remarkable for their musical powers; their flight is rapid, movements active, and habits arboreal; most unite in flocks, often in the neighborhood of human habitations, but a few are solitary; the food consists of insects, fruits, and seeds. Of the 20 genera, only a few of the common ones can be here noticed. - In the genus pyranga (Vieill.) the wings are long and pointed, the second quill nearly as long as the third, which is longest; tail moderate and nearly even.

One of the most richly colored of North American birds is the scarlet tanager (P. rubra, Vieill.), about 7¼ in. long and 11¾ in. in alar extent; the male in the breeding season is of a general bright carmine color, with the wings and notched tail velvety black; the female is dull yellowish green, which is also the color of the' young and the other sex in autumn and winter.

Scarlet Tanager (Pyranga rubra).

Scarlet Tanager (Pyranga rubra).

It enters the United States from Mexico early in April, arriving in New Jersey about the middle of May; it goes as far north inland as Lake Huron, and has been found breeding in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia; it is very sensitive to cold; its migrations are performed at night; its notes are lively, but not musical according to Wilson, resembling the syllables "chip, churr." The change from the winter to the summer plumage takes place very rapidly; it is shy and unsociable, preferring the deep recesses of forests, and rarely approaching human habitations in crowded villages; the food consists of fruits and insects, especially wasps and bees. As in the subfamily generally, the nest is thin and coarsely made; the eggs are three to five, dull greenish blue with brown and purple specks, and are seven eighths by five eighths of an inch in size. This species is found from the eastern states to Missouri. The Mississippi tanager or summer red bird (P. oestiva, Vieill.) is 7¼ in. long and 11 in. in alar extent; the color is light red, brightest on the head, the back dusky, and the quills and shafts of tail feathers brown; bill light horn ' color, and the gape, as in others of the genus, well provided with bristles bending downward; the females olive above and reddish yellow below, as are the young males; the color is lighter and more rosy than in the scarlet tanager, and the bill is much larger.

It is found in the S. Atlantic and gulf states and Guatemala, is so sensitive to cold that it rarely goes further north than Massachusetts, and is not seen in the southern states after the middle of September; it is of solitary habits, preferring growths of stunted hickories and oaks. The song is like the syllables "chicky, chucky, chuck," and is chiefly at night; the food consists of insects, especially large beetles, taken on the wing; the nest is rudely made and insecurely fastened to its supporting branch; the eggs are four or five, light blue, and are incubated for 12 days by both sexes. In the genus tanagra (Linn.) the bill is short, elevated at base, rather triangular; the wings moderate, with the third and fourth quills longest. There are many species, all South American, living in troops; the nest is carelessly made. The bishop tanager (T. episcopus, Linn.) is purplish violet, with the small wing coverts bluish white, the middle shaded with violet, the larger ashy, and the wings and tail blackish bordered with blue. - The genus calliste (Boie) comprises about 30 species of the most beautifully variegated of tropical birds, all inhabitants of the dense South American forests.

The best known species is the festive tanager (C.festiva, Boie), which has the throat and crown blue, forehead and upper back black, collar scarlet, rest of plumage parrot green. The celebrated orga-nista, remarkable for the sweetness and great oompass of its voice, belongs to the genus euphonia.