Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Western Tanager ~ Nature Study

A medium-sized tanager with a brilliant red head, bright yellow body and black back, wings, and tail. Wings have two bars: upper yellow, lower white. Female is olive-green above and yellow below with wing bars similar to male.

Breeds from southern Alaska southward and winters in the tropics. Preferred habitats include open coniferous forests.

The red pigment in the face of the Western Tanager is not produced by the bird but is acquired through their diet of insects that themselves acquire it from plants.

The Western Tanager was first recorded on the Lewis and Clark expedition (1803-1806).

The individual I observed today flew across the trail in front of me near the intake of the irrigation canal along the D.River Trail. He came to perch in a bow of a Ponderosa Pine.

ORN: 7.25 miles at 9:07 mile pace


  1. I don't thing I've ever seen one.
    Very pretty birds.

  2. Makita,

    Becky and I was visiting a shut-in couple in Salem, Oregon, last week and they showed us a picture of the same bird that was hanging around their patio doors. I've never seen one other than the picture.



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