Piranga ludoviciana
(Western Tanager)

Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Thraupidae
Family Description: Tanagers

Physical Description:
6-7 1/2" (15-19 cm). Yellow head, underparts, and rump; face washed with red; black wings, back, and tail; wings have two pale yellow bars. Female similar, but minus red wash on face.

Similar Species- Female orioles

Similar to the American Robin's song, but brusker.

Breeds from southeastern Alaska, east through western Canada, and south through western U.S. to northern Baja California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, Arizona, southern New Mexico, and western Texas. Winters from southern Baja California and central mainland of Mexico, south to portions of Central America (rarely southern US.).

Breeds mostly in coniferousClick word for definition and mixed mountain woodlands. Migrates and winters in variety of forest, woodland, scrub and partly-open habitats. Preliminary results of Idaho-Montana study indicated species favored old growth over rotation-aged stands in Douglas-fir/ponderosa pine habitats.

Feeds on variety of insects and fruits.

Nests on horizontal branch of coniferous (occasionally deciduousClick word for definition) tree.

Female incubatesClick word for definition 3-5 eggs for 13 days. Nestlings are altricialClick word for definition. Young are tended by both adults.

Element Code: ABPBX45050
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5B

Important State References:
Hejl, S.J. and R.E. Woods. 1990. Bird assemblages in old-growth and rotation-aged Douglas-fir/Ponderosa pine stands in the northern Rocky Mountains: a preliminary assessment. Pp. 93-100 in D.M. Baumgartner and J.E. Lotan, eds., Proceedings of a Symposium on Interior Douglas-fir: the species and its management. Feb. 27, 1990, Spokane WA.

Photo by C. Trost,© 2000
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.