Western Tanager

Piranga ludoviciana

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  • Western Tanager |  Photo: NPS
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Western Tanager Photo Gallery

Basic Information

Order

Passeriformes

Family

Thraupidae

Size

Western Tanagers are generally between 6.25 and 7.5 inches in length.

Lifespan

up to 15 years

Weight

Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) facts, habitat, range, tanager pictures and bird watching tips to help you identify the songbird.

Diet

Omnivore

Behavior

Foliage Gleaner

Range

Migratory: Midwest-Western U.S.

Nest Placement

Tree

Number of Offspring

2–5 Eggs

Egg Description

Blue Green with brown specks

Condition at Hatching

Feeble, down covered

Social Status

Solitary

Wingspan

11-12 in

What does the Western Tanager look like?

Western Tanagers are strikingly beautiful stout songbirds. Adult Males are bright yellow, with scarlet red on their faces and caps. They have two brilliant yellow wing bars that stand out on jet-black wings. Adult females are also mostly bright yellow, however they lack the scarlet face. They have gray backs and wings with two wing bars. Their rumps and tails are yellow

Western Tanager Habitat

Open Forests

Western Tanager Facts

Western Tanagers are a slow moving songbird of the forest. Despite their bright markings, they are timid and can be quite hard to see. They breed further north than most members of their tropical family. Their red face is from the pigment rhodoxanthin, which is not common in birds. It is believed they acquire this through food they consume. They are common prey to various birds of prey, including Red-tailed Hawks and Prairie Falcons.

See also