Blue-gray tanagers mainly eat fruit, with occasional nectar and insects. They live on the edges of forests, not underneath tree cover. If a clearing opens in the middle of a forest though, the birds will quickly find it and move in. They eat fruit from trees and their droppings are an important way for seeds to travel to the edge of a forested area.
Adults are light blue on their heads and bellies and dark blue on their backs. The bill and eyes are black. There are 14 subspecies of blue-gray tanager that have slightly different colours. Males and females look similar, while juveniles are a duller blue.
Their primary threat is habitat destruction due to deforestation, but they are considered Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.