Western TanagerPiranga ludoviciana
6-7 1/2" (15-19 cm). Adult male has brilliant red head, bright yellow body, with black back, wings, and tail. 2 wing bars; smaller uppermost bar yellow, lower one white. Female is yellow-green above, yellow below; wing bars similar to male's.
Song is robin-like in its short fluty phrases, rendered with a pause in between. The quality is much hoarser, however. Call is a dry pit-r-ick.
short songs & calls #1
short songs & call #2
Recordings © Lang Elliott, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart, Bob McGuire, and others. Musicofnature.com. All Rights Reserved.
Open coniferous forests.
Breeds from southern Alaska and Mackenzie southward. Winters in tropics.
In late spring and early summer the Western Tanager, first recorded on the Lewis and Clark expedition (1803-1806), feeds on insects, often like a flycatcher, from the high canopy. Later it feeds on berries and other small fruits.
3-5 bluish-green, speckled eggs in a frail, shallow saucer nest of woven rootlets, weed stalks, and bark strips, "saddled" in the fork of a horizontal branch of Douglas fir, spruce, pine, or occasionally oak, usually at a low elevation.