Western Tanger


Bird Spotting: The male western tangier has a red head with bright yellow wing shoulders and belly. Wings are black with white and yellow wing bar markings. The female bird is a yellowish green on top with gray wings. The rump is yellowish.

Habitat: The western tangier makes its home in open coniferous and mixed forests.

Nesting: Three to five speckled bluish-green eggs are laid in a frail, shallow saucer nest constructed of small roots, weeds and bark. Nests can be found lashed to a branch of a tree, usually at a low elevation.

Bird Bite: The bright red pigment called rhodoxanthin is rare in birds and does not come naturally to the western tangier. Eating insects that have ingested plants with this pigment gives the western tangier its distinctive red face.

Backyard Tip: Look for the western tangier at bird feeders containing fruit.