Isn’t this Western Tanager gorgeous? Though all of the tanagers in North America are brilliantly colored, the males of this species have the advantage of having bright scarlet heads that contrast with their bright yellow and black plumage.
Western Tanagers are only found regularly in the western part of the continental U.S. states and western Canada where they breed all the way into the Northwest Territories. They spend their winters in southern Mexico and Central America in more subdued plumage.
I only see the beauties when they migrate through the lower elevations of eastern Colorado as they breed in our mountain areas but I certainly enjoy their brief visits. Though I often see them along our local riverwalk, they also visit my yard to feed mostly on the insects but also on small fruits. If you live in areas where this species is found, they may come to eat oranges you put out for orioles.
Are you one of our western fans who gets to see these lovely tanagers during migration or summer?
Or have you been fortunate to see them when you visited western U.S. or Canada?