Western Tanager: Medium-sized tanager with brilliant red head, bright yellow body, black back, wings, and tail. Wings have two bars: upper bar is yellow, lower bar is white. Legs and feet are gray. Swift direct flight on rapidly beating wings. It was first recorded on the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Range and Habitat
Western Tanager: Breeds from southern Alaska and Mackenzie southward and winters in the tropics. Preferred habitats include open coniferous forests.
The Western Tanager breeds farther north than any other member of its mostly tropical family, breeding to nearly 60° N in the Northwest Territories.
The red pigment in the face is not produced by the bird but is acquired through their diet of insects that themselves acquire it from plants.
This species was first recorded on the Lewis and Clark expedition(1803-1806).
A group of tanagers are collectively known as a "season" of tanagers.
The Western Tanager is a medium songbird native to the Americas, and is considered a relative to cardinals. Preferred breeding habitats include coniferous and mixed woodlands found in western North America, including the Mexico-U.S. border and southern Alaska. Nests are cup-shaped and built in a conifer’s horizontal branch. During winter months, this species will migrate to central Mexico, Costa Rica and southern California. Food is gathered high in the trees of the forest, and insects are sometimes caught mid-flight. Diets consist of fruits, berries and insects. The conservation rating for the Western Tanager is Least Concern.