My friend Louis the photographer is visiting in Missoula for a week and wanted to do another photo shoot in the Museum — actually, he wanted to shoot me doing a shoot in the museum (like Inception with photography) so we decided to make it exceptionally colorful. When I need a lot of color in a museum otherwise filled with neutral skulls and skeletons, I can always rely on our extensive variety of tanagers (family Thraupidae) — they are also some of my favorite specimens in the entire collection, so it seemed appropriate.
I’ve written/photographed tanagers before (a paradise tanager [Tangara chilensis] and some beautiful western tanagers [Piranga ludoviciana]), but this time we decided to go for it and photograph nearly every species of tanager (and some similarly related) in the collection. Here’s a list of every species included in the shoot, but not in order:
- Golden tanager (Tangara arthus)
- Black-headed tanager (Tangara cyanoptera)
- Masked tanager (Tangara nigrocincta)
- Black-faced Dacnis (Dacnis lineata)
- Blue-and-black tanager (Tangara vassorii)
- Western tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)
- Paradise tanager (Tangara chilensis)
- Scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea)
- Bay-headed tanager (Tangara gyrola)
- Thick-billed Euphonia (Euphonia laniirostris; formerly in the family Thraupidae, now in family Fringillidae)
- Tawny-capped Euphonia (Euphonia anneae; also now in family Fringillidae)
- Summer tanager (Pirangra rubra)
- Red-legged honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus)
- Green honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza)
And, of course, the peafowl (Genus Pavo) tail in the background for additional color.
This was a blast to photograph, and be sure to stay tuned for Louis’ awesome photographs of this same setup which I’ll post later in the week!