Western Tanager

It’s a sight to behold: On migration, flocks of Western Tanagers pass through valleys, plains and foothills. They nest mostly in the mountains, in firs and pines, often at high elevations.

Western Tanager

Dave Ryan Western Tanager

Scientific Name: Piranga ludoviciana.
Family: Cardinal.
Length: 7-1/4 inches.
Wingspan: 11-1/2 inches.
Distinctive Markings: Male has a yellow body, black wings with prominent white bars, and a red head in breeding season ( duller in winter). Female is yellow with a gray back.
Nest: Three to five bluish-green eggs with irregular brown spots are laid in a loose nest of twigs high in a tree.
Voice: Short whistled phrases, similar in quality to a robin’s song.
Habitat: Evergreen forests in summer; any kinds of woodlands, riversides, or even deserts during migration.
Diet: Insects and fruit.
Backyard Favorites: Dried fruit, oranges, sugar water and native plants to attract bugs.

Listen to the Western Tanager’s song and learn where to spot them!

Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Western Tanager Bird SpeciesRange maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.

Photos

Information

Western Tanager

Dave Ryan Western Tanager

Scientific Name: Piranga ludoviciana.
Family: Cardinal.
Length: 7-1/4 inches.
Wingspan: 11-1/2 inches.
Distinctive Markings: Male has a yellow body, black wings with prominent white bars, and a red head in breeding season ( duller in winter). Female is yellow with a gray back.
Nest: Three to five bluish-green eggs with irregular brown spots are laid in a loose nest of twigs high in a tree.
Voice: Short whistled phrases, similar in quality to a robin’s song.
Habitat: Evergreen forests in summer; any kinds of woodlands, riversides, or even deserts during migration.
Diet: Insects and fruit.
Backyard Favorites: Dried fruit, oranges, sugar water and native plants to attract bugs.

Bird Song & Range Map

Listen to the Western Tanager’s song and learn where to spot them!

Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Western Tanager Bird SpeciesRange maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.

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  1. shannon muise says

    I live in toronto canada,would I be able to attract these awesome looking birds tomy back yard? Also do squrrels like dried fruit..

  2. Cheryl says

    I have had a pair of tanagers “hanging around” for about a week now. It is wonderful to see! In a normal year, I am lucky to sight them even once. I just hope they continue to stay. Any suggestions to make this happen?

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