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Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) - July 15, 2011


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While on the Desert Southwest Tour of National Parks this summer, I was sitting on the patio dinning area of Red Cliffs Lodge in Moab, Utah,  and noticed this beautiful bird feeding on fruits of a tree near the bank of the Colorado River.  I didn’t know it at the time, but it was my introduction to the Western Tanager.  

The colors are amazing in the male.  He is a very bright yellow with a red head and black wings.  The female is a little more drab, but still a nicely colored olive green. 

I had just bought a new telephoto lens and was able to get some pretty good shots of males and females.  A little later, on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, I got some even better shots of a male.  The one on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon seemed a lot more tame. He probably saw more visitors than the one at Red Cliffs Lodge. 

© Fred Searcy 2017