Western Tanager, Piranga ludoviciana


Western Tanager, male, 6/23/09, Yuba Pass summit, Sierra Co


Western Tanager, female, 6/23/09, Yuba Pass summit, Sierra Co


Western Tanager, male, 6/24/09, Yuba Pass summit, Sierra Co


Western Tanager, male, 5/29/08, my back yard, Stanford campus
Western Tanagers pass through the Bay Area in migration, and this visit to our fountain for a bath was the only time I've ever seen one of these beauties in our yard.They nest in the Sierras, and I always see them during my annual June visit to the Yuba Pass area, but I hadn't gotten a good image until the summer of 2009, when a pair was courting in the meadow at the Pass summit, and let me get close enough to take the three photos at the top of this page. A small number of them nest in the Santa Cruz mountains, nearer to where I live, and I was lucky enough to get the picture below, the singing male of a nesting pair, near Montebello Open Space Preserve just north of the San Mateo County border.
 


Western Tanager, singing male, 6/27/10, Montebello OSP, San Mateo Co


Western Tanager, female, 4/30/10, Cave Creek Ranch, Portal, AZ


Western Tanager, male, 5/1/10, Cave Creek Ranch, Portal, AZ
At Cave Creek Ranch in the eastern Chiricahuas, I photographed the males above and below, with their very different amounts of red pigment in the head feathering, on the same day. Notice the female above, perched on the same laundry cord as the male below.


Western Tanager, male, 5/1/10, Cave Creek Ranch, Portal, AZ