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11 Colorful Western Tanager Pictures

These western tanager pictures show the fiery fliers in all their brilliant glory! See western tanagers on flowers, catching bugs and more.

western tanager picturesCourtesy Sylvia Hooper

The Beauty of Western Tanagers

Western tanagers are a delight for any birder to spot. With their bright, fiery colors, one would think they’d be easy to find. But since they tend to stick to the western forest treetops, these gorgeous birds frequently remain elusive. Thankfully, these Birds & Blooms readers saw success in getting western tanager pictures, and we think you’ll enjoy them, too.

249508155 1 Sylvia Hooper Bnb Bypc2020Courtesy Sylvia Hooper

Western Tanager at the Bird Bath

“I took this photo of a western tanager in spring one year. I had just purchased the bird bath, and I am so glad I did! It captured the tanager’s reflection perfectly. What makes this photo so special is the reflection and the way he is looking at me. What a cutie!” Sylvia Hooper says. Here are four vibrant tanager species you should know.

Bnbbyc17 Kenneth TranstrumCourtesy Kenneth Transtrum

An Exciting Sighting

“These little guys haven’t frequented our back yard a lot in previous years, however, they showed their bright colors often this spring at our feeders,” Kenneth Transtrum says. Summer tanagers are tough to spot, too — they might hide in plain sight.

252885424 1 Norman Goo Bnb Bypc2020Courtesy Norman Goo

Tanagers Close to Home

“The first weekend in May, I went out to try to take western tanager pictures. After about two hours without any luck, I arrived home. As I looked out the back door, I saw a flock of them in my backyard! I got off a few shots, and this one was my favorite,” Norman Goo says. Look up high to spot stunning scarlet tanagers.

253790119 1 Dick Coe Coe Bnb Bypc2020Courtesy Dick Coe

Western Tanager and a Friend

“I took this picture of a beautiful male western tanager in our backyard. The tanager, unbelievably, was perched on the green metal bird, which is part of the water-filled green bird bath,” Dick Coe says. Learn where to find flame-colored and hepatic tanagers.

Bnbbyc17 Barbara Hauer, western tanager picturesCourtesy Barbara Hauer

Right Place for Western Tanager Pictures

“I choose this picture of the western tanager because it is such a colorful bird that flitted in and out of our backyard bottlebrush bush. The birds were only here for a few days, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. Love this bird!” Barbara Hauer says. Discover 8 surprising facts about tanagers.

Bnbbyc17 Eric Sydenstricker 2Courtesy Eric Sydenstricker

Western Tanagers Inspire Love of Photography

“I had not taken bird photos for six years when these beautiful western tanagers showed up in my backyard. I was so amazed by the colorful plumage I dug out the camera and captured the photo. Now I have an updated DSLR, and my wife told the guy at Costco Photo I’ve gone picture crazy! I have not missed many days of bird photography since the tanagers showed up. The tanagers have long since moved on, but the other birds are fun, too,” Eric Sydenstricker says. Feed grape jelly to attract tanagers and orioles.

Bnbbyc17 Susan Forde 4, western tanager picturesCourtesy Susan Forde

Favorite Bird Sighting

“This male western tanager, along with his migrating flock, began coming to my yard when I put out orange halves in an attempt to attract orioles. I not only attracted orioles, but I was also delighted when these colorful songbirds began to grace my yard. They are an all-time favorite as their bright orange-red heads and dazzling yellow bodies contrast with their black wings, back and tail. I enjoy this photo for its intense colors framed within the twig on which he is standing and the highlighted branch on his left. The leaves that curl around his head finish the frame. The brilliant blue background compliments the colors of the bird,” Susan Forde says. Did you know: Scarlet tanagers also snack on oranges.

Bnbbyc18 Steve Ostermiller, western tanager picturesCourtesy Steve Ostermiller

Western Tanager With a Treat

“This image of a western tanager was taken in the Beartooth Mountains south of Red Lodge, Montana, in July. This one is special to me because we don’t see very many of this species in our area. In fact, this is only the third one I’ve ever seen, plus it had a mouthful of bugs!” Steve Ostermiller says.” These 11 pictures will change how you see bugs.

Bnbbyc18 Rebecca Reilly, western tanager picturesCourtesy Rebecca Reilly

Western Tanager on Lupine Flowers

“While hiking through the Teton Pass last week near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, my family and I spotted this beautiful western tanager snacking on the lupines. The tanager was a first for me!” Rebecca Reilly says.

Bnbbyc19 April Eisele, western tanager picturesCourtesy April Eisele

Cheerful Western Tanager

“Late spring brought western tanagers to our backyard this year. He was more interested in the tasty moth he found than the bird seed in the feeders. He was so proud of his little catch, and he shook and shook it as if showing it off to us. The other tanagers in the yard were shy, but this little guy seemed happy to share the space with us,” April Eisele says.

Emily Hannemann
Emily Hannemann is an associate digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in magazine writing from the University of Missouri - Columbia. When she’s not writing and editing, you’ll find her swimming, running, or hiking. She knows blue jays are controversial, but she loves them anyway.