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Western Tanager

Piranga ludoviciana

Description:

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.

Habitat:

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

Notes:

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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13 Comments

EmilyMarino
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
Dixie 6 years ago

Beautiful

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 6 years ago

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

AshleyT
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
EmilyMarino 6 years ago

Thank you metulippatch!

metulippatch
metulippatch 6 years ago

Very nice!

EmilyMarino
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
ChristyHolland 6 years ago

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

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 6 years ago

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

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 6 years ago

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

ChristyHolland
ChristyHolland 6 years ago

Definitely a beauty!

Gorgeous !

EmilyMarino
Spotted by
EmilyMarino

Colorado, USA

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

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