A bird of the genus Tanagra or family Tanagridæ of passerine birds, of Central and South America. There are numerous species, named from their colour, as black-headed, green-headed; red, scarlet, spotted, variegated, yellow tanager; from other characteristics, as crested, grand hooded, silent t.; from their native locality, as Brazilian, Mississippi t.; from resemblance to other birds, as bullfinch, oriole t.; from their discoverer, as Cooper's t., etc.

1614 PURCHAS Pilgrimage IX. iv. 843 The Tangara which haue the falling-sicknes, the rest dancing about that which is fallen, with a noise, from which they will not be skarred till they haue done. [1648 MARCGRAVE Hist. Nat. Brasil. 214 Tangara Brasiliensibus; (reperiuntur ejus aliquot species colore variantes).] 1688 R. HOLME Armoury II. 243/1 The Brasilian Tangara [hath] Legs and Feet cinereous, inclining to dusky. 1825 WATERTON Wand. S. Amer. (1882) 26 A numerous species of bird called Tangara. 1844 Zoologist II. 444 The occurrence of the Red-breasted Tanager near Cheltenham. 1857 MAYNE REID War Trail xlv, The sweet warbling voices of the silvias, finches, tanagers, that..adorn the American woods with their gorgeous colours. 1863 THOREAU Excursions 31 The tanager flies through the green foliage as if it would ignite the leaves. 1893 W. H. HUDSON Idle Days Patagonia x. 156 It is impossible to say of many species which are finches and which tanagers. 1896 NEWTON Dict. Birds 943 Tanager..adapted from the quasi-Latin Tanagra of Linnæus,..an adaptation, perhaps with a classical allusion, of Tangara, used by Brisson and Buffon.

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