A few weeks ago my friend Jane and I went for a canoe paddle on Roberts Lake. It was not the nicest weather you have ever seen but it was not so bad, although you have to be careful about being at the north end of the lake mid- day because the wind always comes up at about 2:00 pm and you end up paddling against the wind to get back to the boat launch. I guess that is why we are seeing increasing numbers of wind surfers on the lake.
We came across this little beauty sitting in a tree about 4 feet off the ground. The bird did not even move when we approached and did not seem to be concerned about the fact that the dog was also curious. So we got pretty close for some great pictures. At first we thought it was an escaped domestic bird because of the gorgeous colouring but were later educated to find that it was a Western Tanager.
Lately I have had several sightings of birds that we do not normally even think about around here. Like this past weekend we were at Morton Lake and we surmised that the large bird circling overhead was a Falcon, it was just gorgeous also but I didn't get a good picture. I think I am now a confirmed bird watcher.
I just added this description to our Bird Watching pages, I hope to be able to do more of that in the future, as there are now over 250 confirmed local bird species in this area.
A medium sized north American songbird, formally known as being part of the Tanager family (Thraupidae,) they are now classified in the Cardinal family, because its plumage and vocalizations are similar.
Adults have light coloured small pointed bills, yellow underparts and distinguished wing bars in white and yellow. The males have a bright red/orange face with a yellow nape, shoulder and rump, with black upper back, wings and tail. When it is non-breeding season the plumage has no more than a reddish cast and the body an olive tinge. Females are not as colourful with a yellow head and olive back with dark wings and tail.
Similar to the Robin but hoarser and rather monotonous, with disconnected short phrases. "pit-er-ick".
Coniferous or mixed woods across Western North America from the Mexico-US border to as far north as Alaska. They are considered the northernmost-breeding Tanager.
Flimsy cut nests are build on horizontal tree branches, usually conifers. They lay four bluish-green eggs with brown spots. Clutch size is usually 3 to 5 eggs, with incubation lasting about 13 days. The young fledge in 11 to 15 days after hatching. Life span is typically 4 years, however there has been documentation of Tanagers reaching 7 years old.
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