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Western Tanager

I was going to regale you with pictures of orioles that I saw in Arizona, but then yesterday I saw a Western Tanager in Utah!!!  Specifically, I saw him at the Red Butte Gardens.

I saw my first Western Tanager almost two years ago in Golden Gate Park.  But I only saw the female who is pretty but pales in comparison with the male.  I figured that we must have Western Tanagers in Utah because the male is featured on a lot of Great Salt Lake Bird Festival t-shirts and hats.  Here is a picture of the tanager scratching his head.

this is my introspective pose

It’s very lucky that the sun was shining in these pictures.  We’ve had an extremely wet spring.  This was the first sunny day in awhile and by the evening it was pouring.  Light always helps with these pictures because my camera is very light greedy.  So you get to see these adorable expressions with good clarity!

He was quite the singer.  May is the start of their breeding season so when I go back to the gardens next week I’ll be out on the lookout for females.  I’m so impressed with the diversity at the Red Butte Gardens.  Farmington Waterfowl Management Area is great for shorebirds, but for everything else the gardens are the best place in Utah to see a diverse population.

“Down by the boardwalk, down by the seee-aaaa, on a blanket with my baby…”



8 Responses to “Western Tanager”

  1. Cindy says:

    Gorgeous – great photo of the singing tanager!

  2. What a beautiful bird! I’d love to see one.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks Janie! They’re supposed to be pretty common in Utah during the summer months, but I’m not sure if you’d see them at your altitude. They breed in “open coniferous and mixed deciduous-coniferous forests,” though, so maybe.

  4. Tiffany says:

    Magnificent! I’d love to see one too.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks Tiffany!

  6. Mary says:

    Great pictures! Have not seen one of these yet, either, but I hope when I do, I get as good of a look at him as you did. So beautiful!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    You will have to travel west! Maybe when you’re doing your marathons across America.