Western Tanager

Piranga ludoviciana




Cardinals & Piranga Tanagers (Cardinalidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Blue with brown markings

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

6 - 65 feet abve ground.

Nest Material:

Rootlets, sticks, and moss with linng of plant down and mammal hair.





Western Tanager: Medium-sized tanager with brilliant red head, bright yellow body and black back, wings, and tail. Wings have two bars: upper yellow, lower white. Female is olive-green above with gray back and yellow below with wing bars similar to male.

Range and Habitat

Western Tanager: Breeding range includes forests along the western coast of North America from Alaska to Baja California, extend east to Texas and through central New Mexico, central Colorado, extreme northwest Nebraska, and areas of South Dakota to Northwest Territories, Canada. Habitat is coniferous or mixed woods.

Breeding and Nesting

Western Tanager: Three to five brown marked, blue eggs are laid in a frail, shallow saucer nest woven from rootlets, weed stalks, and bark strips, and saddled on a horizontal branch of a Douglas fir, spruce, pine, or oak. Female incubates eggs for about 13 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Western Tanager: Eats insects and berries; forages in trees and shrubs, or catches insects in the air.

Readily Eats

Safflower, Apple Slices, Suet, Millet, Peanut Kernels, Fruit


Western Tanager: Song contains short fluty, but hoarse phrases rendered with a pause in between. Call is a dry "pit-r-ick."

Similar Species

Western Tanager: Flame-colored Tanager has dark bill, bolder white wing-bars, and darkly streaked back.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X