Sunday, July 24, 2011

Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana

All The Birds Of North America: Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana

Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana The tanagers are a very large group of brightly colored, mainly tropical species of the Western Hemisphere; only five occur in North America. Like the other tanagers in our range, the Western Tanager looks somewhat like an oriole, but has a more conical bill. It is one of the most colorful birds of the western mountains, but it can be hard to observe; it is most easily located by voice.

Identification 7". Breeding male has bright red head, yellow throat, nape, and belly, and black wings with 1 yellow wing bar and 1 white wing bar. Female, immature, and winter male paler lemon or olive-yellow with dull olive to gray back and wings, and 2 narrow wing bars.

Voice A loud series of 2- and 3-syllable notes, separated by pauses; call a pit-err-ick.

Habitat Coniferous forests; less commonly in mixed deciduous forests and pinyon-juniper woodlands.

Range Breeds from S. Alaska and N. Alberta south to S. California and extreme W. Texas; absent from some desert areas. Winters mainly from Mexico south.

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