Sunday, May 24, 2020

Western Tanager

Just a couple of days ago we reported seeing Western Tanagers and complaining that the bird we photographed did not have much red on its head. Who knew how soon we would find a bright, red-headed bird. Yesterday, 23 May 2020, we banded three tanagers in our Olympia backyard. The first bird is a male, the second is a female. These birds are common but relatively inconspicuous across most of western North America. The variation in the amount of red in male Western Tanager heads is well known but its cause is not understood. It does not vary with age of the adult, but diet is probably involved (Hudum 2020).

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