05 July, 2011

Western Tanager

Scientific Name: Piranga ludoviciana

Population Estimate: 8.9M

Range / Habitat: Summers in montane forest of western US and Canada. Winters throughout Mexico exclusive of Yucatan.

Field Notes: Breeding male (top photo) with red head, yellow belly and rump. Otherwise black with two yellow wing bars. Female or juvenile (bottom photo) drab olive yellow on head, rump, belly. Still with black back and two yellow wing bars.

Personal Notes: We first spotted the female outside our friend Patrick's window in Puerto Vallarta. We then spotted a male in classic plumage in the courtyard of the Grand American Hotel in Salt Lake City, UT. The top photo was taken en route to Rainbow Lake in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Montana. The light was so bright that morning, the camera had a hard time with the color!

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