Introducing the Western Tanager: Striking Red, Yellow, and Black Males; Elegant Yellow-Green Females

  Characteristics

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The western tanager is 6-7 inches in length. The male western tanager has a bright red head, a bright yellow body and black wings. The female western tanager is greenish-yellow on top and yellow on her underside. Both the male and female have two wing bars. The top wing bar is yellow and the bottom one is white.

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  Habitat

The western tanager breeds in open coniferous forests and mixed deciduous-coniferous forests. It can be found at elevations of up to 10,000 feet. It winters in open mountain pine woodlands and in parks and gardens.

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  Diet

The western tanager eats fruits and insects. It forages for food in the trees and shrubs. They also catch insects in the air.

  Life Cycle

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The female western tanager lays three to five eggs in a cup-shaped nest made of woven bark, grass, and weeds. The nest is placed in a fork of a tree. The female incubates the eggs. The eggs hatch in about two weeks. Both parents care for the chicks

  Behavior

The western tanager is a long-distance migrator. Every year it travels between its wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America to its breeding grounds in western North America.

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