The Western Tanager shows
up on the South Vancouver Island in May and can be seen
in forest settings around the city
The Western Tanager adult
has a brilliant red head, bright yellow body with black back, wings, and tail,
two wing bars, smaller uppermost bar yellow, lower white, female yellow-green
above, yellow below with wing bars similar to male.
They nest in open
coniferous forests of Douglas fir, spruce and pine, mixed woodlands with aspen
trees, high up sometimes nesting as high as 2,000 meters.
But can be found in
lowlands during migration.
The female lays 3 to 5
speckled bluish green eggs in a frail, saucer nest of woven rootlets, weeds and
bark strips, saddled in fork of spruce, fir, or pine tree usually at low
elevation in the tree.
The young birds look like
the female, dull in color and rather drab.
In the fall, the birds
head south to winter in Central America.
Their song is robin like
in its short, fluty phrases rendered with pause between phrases.
They feed on Insects,
fruit, and a few flower and plant buds.