One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small American songbird of the bunting family, the male of which typically has brightly colored plumage.
Family Emberizidae (subfamily Thraupinae): many genera, in particular Tangara, and numerous species
- ‘I saw mockingbirds and bluebirds on my slow drive back, but grosbeaks, tanagers, kingbirds, and buntings are apparently not back yet.’
- ‘On the other hand, tanagers are mostly found in the narrow canopy layer where fruits can be found.’
- ‘At first it's impossible to see anything through the thick mass of branches, but suddenly I spot a beautiful scarlet-plumed tanager perched on a branch.’
- ‘Shade plantations also provide homes to seasonal migrants like warblers, orioles, tanagers, and hummingbirds.’
- ‘You may also find cuckoos, kingbirds, flycatchers, swifts, swallows, orioles, and tanagers in the fall.’
Early 17th century (originally as tangara): from Tupi tangará, later refashioned on the pattern of the modern Latin genus name Tanagra.
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