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Western Tanager - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 00:04, 31 December 2022 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links: Multiple GSearches combined)
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Adult male
Photo © by Joseph V. Higbee
Spanaway, Washington, USA, 5 May 2005
Piranga ludoviciana


Photo © by Victor Vector
Mojave River Wildlife Refuge, California, USA, 27 January 2021

17 cm (6.½ in)
Both sexes have a pointed, but fairly stout, pale bill
Breeding Male

  • Bright red face
  • Yellow neck, underparts, shoulder and rump
  • Black back, wings, tail
  • White lower wing bar, white to yellow upper wing bar

Adult Female:

  • Yellow head and underparts
  • Olive-grey back
  • Grey wings with white lower and white or yellowish upper wing bar
  • Underparts color variable yellow to whitish

Non-breeding and Immature: Similar to adult female


Breeds from Alaska southward to just north of Mexico and eastward to Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico; winters in Central America (western Panama).

Rare vagrant to the east coast of North America north to the maritime provinces of Canada.


This species is monotypic.[1]


Photo © by MarkVanWyk
Vernon, British Columbia, 24 August 2012

Open coniferous forests of douglas fir, spruce, and pine, mixed woodlands with aspen trees, oak-pinyon woodlands of higher mountains. Also found in lowlands during migration.


Nonbreeding plumage
Photo © by ducbucln
Kelseyville, California, 30 October 2012


Their diet consists almost entirely of insects (mostly wasps) and ants, with the addition of fruit, and some buds.


Song is similar to American Robin in its short, fluty phrases rendered with a pause between phrases.
Call is A dry pit-r-ic


Photo © by DJ ODonnell
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, 8 August 2019
  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Hilty, S. (2018). Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/61828 on 25 October 2018).
  3. Hudon, J. (1990). Unusual carotenoid use by the Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) and its evolutionary implications. Can. J. Zool. no. 69:2311-2320.
  4. Hudon, J. (1999). Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bna.432
  5. BirdForum Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.