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Western Tanager

Piranga ludoviciana


Western Tanagers are stocky songbirds; fairly small yet noticeably larger and heavier-bodied than warblers. They have short, thick-based bills and medium-length tails. Adult male Western Tanagers are yellow birds with black wings and a flaming orange-red head. The wings have two bold wingbars; the upper one yellow and the lower white. The back and tail are black. Adult females have red restricted to the front of the face, with subdued yellow-green plumage on the body. Immatures in fall lack red, while in spring show less red on the head relative to that on adults of their respective sex.


Foothills around 8,000 ft. near large body of water.


I was pleasantly surprised to see this beauty of a bird on an afternoon hike today! I had never seen one so close. I spotted several males, but this bloke didn't seem to care that I was so close. He perched on thistles and hunted bugs while my dog and I hiked up the hill!

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EmilyMarino 6 years ago

Thank you! These boys were a real treat to find! I can't wait to go back next year on a sunny day!

Dixie 6 years ago


EmilyMarino 6 years ago

Thanks Ashley. Wish it had been a sunny day, but still such a treat to see these guys.

AshleyT 6 years ago

Beautiful, Emily! I've only seen one and didn't get a good look. Would love to see a beautiful male like this :)

EmilyMarino 6 years ago

Thank you metulippatch!

metulippatch 6 years ago

Very nice!

EmilyMarino 6 years ago

Thank you Marta! Christy, that sounds good! I don't think we could do both in the same day but Tanager hunting would be fun. This spot is down a bumpy 4 wheel drive road and you have to hike a little bit but it's not bad! I was thinking of going back pretty soon! :)

The MnMs
The MnMs 6 years ago

Beautiful bird, Emily!

ChristyHolland 6 years ago

Take me with you!! ;-) Maybe we should go moosing on the same day! ????

EmilyMarino 6 years ago

...and thanks Christy! I want to go back one morning and get better pictures!

EmilyMarino 6 years ago

Thank you Reza! I had never seen one so close before!

ChristyHolland 6 years ago

Definitely a beauty!

Gorgeous !

Spotted by

Colorado, USA

Spotted on Jul 20, 2014
Submitted on Jul 21, 2014

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