Description - Western Tanager
A medium sized North American songbird, formally known to be a part of the Tanager family (Thraupidae,) they are now classified in the Cardinal family, because the plumage and vocalisations are similar.
Adults have light coloured small pointed bills, yellow underparts and distinguished wing bars in white and yellow. The males have a bright red/orange face with a yellow nape, shoulder and rump, with black upper back, wings and tail. When in non-breeding season the plumage has no more than a reddish cast and the body an olive tinge. Females are not as colourful with a yellow head and olive back with dark wings and tail.
Voice of the Western Tanager:
Similar to the Robin but hoarser and rather monotonous, with disconnected short phrases. “pit-er-ick”.
Habitat of the Western Tanager:
Coniferous or mixed woods across Western North America from the Mexico-US border to as far north as Alaska. They are considered the northernmost-breeding tanager.
Nesting Habits of the Western Tanager:
Flimsy cut nests are built on horizontal tree branches, usually conifers. They lay four bluish-green eggs with brown spots. Clutch size is usually 3 to 5 eggs, with incubation lasting about 13 days. The young fledged in about 11 to 15 days after hatching. Life span is typically 4 years, however there has been documentation of Tanagers reaching 7 years old.