Western Tanager

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image: westerntanager.jpg

Common Name: Western Tanager

Scientific Name: Piranga ludoviciana

Size: 6-7 inches (16-19cm)

Habitat: North America; West of the Rockies. Open conifer and mixed conifer forests.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 8,900,000 mature individuals.

Diet: Insects, some fruit. Forages in shrubs, does some fly catching and may come to feeders for fruit

Breeding: Four white eggs are laid in a flimsy open cup nest on an outer branch of a tree.

Cool Facts: The Western Tanager breeds farther north than any other member of its mostly tropical family, breeding to nearly 60° N in the Northwest Territories.

The red pigment in the face of the Western Tanager is rhodoxanthin and is acquired through diet. This pigment rare in birds is not the same red pigment found in other red tanagers such as the Scarlet Tanager. The redder the male, the more attractive he is to the females.

Found in Songbird Remix Cool and Unusual Birds

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