Western Tanager

Piranga ludoviciana

Western Tanager
Western Tanager
Western Tanager
Western Tanager
Western Tanager
Western Tanager
Western Tanager
Western Tanager

The western tanager (Piranga ludoviciana), is a medium-sized American songbird. Formerly placed in the tanager family (Thraupidae), it and other members of its genus are now classified in the cardinal family (Cardinalidae). The species's plumage and vocalizations are similar to other members of the cardinal family.

Adults have pale stout pointed bills, yellow underparts and light wing bars. Adult males have a bright red face and a yellow nape, shoulder, and rump, with black upper back, wings, and tail; in non-breeding plumage the head has no more than a reddish cast and the body has an olive tinge. Females have a yellow head and are olive on the back, with dark wings and tail.

The Western Tanager is a migratory song bird that heads for Mexico in the winter and ranges throughout western North America far north as Southern Alaska in the summer. They prefer conifer or mixed forests for nesting chosing larger trees that will support a nest well off the ground and several feet out from the trunk of the tree.

Common predators include owls and hawks. Cow birds frequent their nests. The nests are a simple cup of twigs and the like sitting on top of a limb. They primarily eat insects, grubs and larvae, but a lessor part of their diet is small fruits and berries.

Additional information: see Wikpedia - Western Tanager

- - Updated 11/15/2015
- - Updated 07/04/2015