I was thrilled the other day to see a Western Tanager. I was wheeling a cartful of split firewood over to stack beside the fence, when I looked up and noticed a yellow leaf half hidden behind the otherwise green leaves of a birch tree. The thought struck me that that yellow leaf was about the same color as a Tanager, but the thought didn’t go any further. Then as I got closer to the tree, the “leaf” flew off, but landed on a stump of my now dead cherry tree. It was a Tanager.
Male Western Tanagers are beautiful colorful birds. I always enjoyed getting a sight of one, but hadn’t seen any around our house for years. A week ago, I spotted one as I walked by the garden, but it immediately flew off. Luckily, this time it stuck around long enough for me to go to the house, get my camera, and take some pictures.
Tanagers live in Western North America and over winter in Mexico and Costa Rica. In the early 1800‘s when Lewis and Clark made their expedition to the Pacific, Lewis saw a Tanager and made note of it in his diary.
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