Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) 7 1/4" long
This colorful yellow bird comes north in summer into the Western U.S. and Canada. Western Tanagers nest in coniferous forests of the high mountains but can be seen in grassland and desert habitat during migration. The most eye-catching feature of their appearance is the yellow underparts, nape and rump, often brighter on the male, who also sports a red hood during the breeding season. Wings are black barred with yellow. The female is duller in color and often has a yellow-green face. Western Tanagers feed mainly on insects including wasps, ants, termites, grasshoppers and cicadas, but they also take fruit such as mulberries and elderberries. Migrating birds may be attracted to oranges set out for orioles as well as to birdbaths. Their migration period is long with birds often seen from early spring to mid-June.