Western Tanager male at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

Western Tanager male in breeding plumage

Western Tanager male in breeding plumage

This is the only bird I could find in my files that had the same colors of the Flaming Hibiscus I posted earlier this morning and since I didn’t want this to be a birdless day on Onthewingphotography I worked this Western Tanager file up in a hurry.

This was photographed last summer at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in the Centennial Valley of Beaverhead County, Montana. I sure wish we had been able to get closer to this flame-colored bird, the cows there allowed us to get much closer.

Have a super day!


Additional posts you might enjoy:

About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Hi! What a beautiful bird! You bring out the colors so great and the image glows! Have fun shooting today!

  2. Wow, the flaming Hibiscus and Tanager are both incredible! Leave to you to find a bird that matching the gorgeous blossom!

  3. I just love these birds, they are so pretty. The colors are gorgeous. Lovely photo, Mia!

  4. Wow Mia, that is one beautiful bird! You got a great shot!

  5. He is a beauty! I am always excited to see this species when I am in the west.

  6. And you’re right, its colors ARE the same as those of the Hibiscus!

  7. What a bright spot of sunshine on a cold winter’s day! Lovely shot!

  8. Beautiful! Pretty little fellow!

  9. Very nice! Western Tanagers are tricky:)

  10. Beauty and colourful bird, I love it.

  11. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    The funny thing is the only tanagers I ever saw were at the same place we had the hibiscus. While I saw the scarlet tanager both male and female … coming across them surely is astonishing. I’m always surprised at how hard it was to see them even though the male was so brightly colored… but I didn’t realize it was there till I was right under it. It’s one of my fondest bird memories… to come across both the male and the female.

    • Merrill, in my experiences with Summer and Scarlet Tanagers they always seemed to stay hidden in the foliage of the trees they were in which does make it a challenge to spot them. It also can make it difficult to get decent images of them as well.

  12. You make me long for Spring!

  13. Love the bright colors against the soft greens, Mia. I’ve never seen one of these… beautiful.

  14. Thank you for sharing these photos Mia.It makes me hopeful for Spring.

  15. I know we have these around but mostly on the other side of the divide. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one in person though as others have. I love the colors, bright and cheery.

Comments are closed