Up Close & Personal … The Western Tanager

In my Garden, Musings, Nature, Photography, Up Close & Personal ...

While sitting outside one morning last week, the Zendog and I suddenly felt a swoosh of air moving past our heads. For a moment all I could see was a bright blur heading straight for the lilac bush. Once this brightly colored bird landed, I knew right away that we were looking at a Western Tanager. Lucky me for having the camera right there! 😉  
And while Western Tanagers do live in this area, I’ve only seen one three times in the fourteen years we’ve been in this house.

Isn’t he just gorgeous?

A male Western Tanager in summer plumage has

a bright yellow body with a reddish-orange face,

black tail and wings with white wing bars and a yellow shoulder patch. 

According to my bird guide, Western Tanagers are not very active 

which is probably why I rarely see them around here.
Suddenly, he took wing and disappeared into the woods.

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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

23 thoughts on “Up Close & Personal … The Western Tanager”

  1. Very pretty little birds. We see them a lot when out camping this time of year. They’re so unexpected in the forest, with their kind of tropical coloring. Gorgeous, Sabine!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful bird Sabine – you know that if I had seen him flitting by, I would have just thought it was a goldfinch that had gotten into the Cheetos! 🙂 He sure is beautiful. We really don’t have a wide variety of colorful birds that you have here … unless they are hiding when I am out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda, I think you might have been able to tell that it wasn’t a goldfinch. The tanager is larger and the shades of yellow are different. You have tanagers too in your area, but they might prefer a less urban area. And tanagers are usually heard more than seen!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I see – the goldfinches are tiny and are about the size and body shape of a canary. You are right … I was thinking at a glance. When I was young my mother bought me an Audubon Land Bird Guide to North American Birds and I used to know more than I know now. I remembered the name “Scarlet Tanager” and just Googled it – I remember that pretty bird from the “Guide” – you are lucky to see so many birds. I am not rural enough. I saw a lot of milkweed at the Park today – it is growing rampant and never noticed a big group of it. I looked for monarchs and none yet, but saw a monarch caterpillar. So I am going to keep my eye out for monarchs at the milkweed. I am going to an open butterfly garden event for charity (animal shelters) this Sunday – I hope our weather is cooperative. This year the woman has two events, one in July for general butterflies and one in September strictly for Monarchs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hope to write more Sabine – I have given myself a lot of hours off my feet and elevating my legs and I am now trying to catch up on e-mail, and catch up in comments/Reader. I feel badly to write a post so behind in Reader. Tomorrow will be very nice weather and the butterfly event is at noon. Last time it was overcast, so not so many butterflies – hoping that is not the case tomorrow. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. christine says:

    Hi Sabine, Rosalie and I were just looking at the Cooper Hawk when we saw these gorgeous tanager shots. We are both impressed! A perfect pose he’s strike for your wonderful description! I will start looking for these beauties.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Christine and Rosalie! The tanagers are quite beautiful! I think I may have seen a female one this morning. But I’m not 100% sure. I hope you get to see some down there too! 🙋


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