Western Tanager male at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

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

Have a super day!



  1. Hummingbird Lover February 10, 2013 at 8:13 am

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

  2. Tammy Karr February 8, 2013 at 7:48 pm

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

  3. Eileen February 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm

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

  4. Karen Bonsell February 8, 2013 at 8:03 am

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

  5. Julie Brown February 8, 2013 at 3:34 am

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

  6. M. Firpi February 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm

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

  7. Sam Brunson February 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Great photo!

  8. Kathie February 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm

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

    • Mia McPherson February 9, 2013 at 6:07 am

      Thank you Kathie, it shouldn’t be too long before I see these beautiful birds again.

  9. Sally Wood February 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Beautiful! Pretty little fellow!

  10. Rohrerbot February 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Very nice! Western Tanagers are tricky:)

  11. Bob Bushell February 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Beauty and colourful bird, I love it.

  12. Merrill Ann Gonzales February 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    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.

    • Mia McPherson February 9, 2013 at 6:05 am

      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.

  13. eric c11 February 7, 2013 at 11:35 am

    very nice ☺

  14. Robert Mortensen February 7, 2013 at 8:32 am

    You make me long for Spring!

    • Mia McPherson February 9, 2013 at 6:02 am

      It will be here before long Robert (yes; I have my fingers crossed!)

  15. Tami February 7, 2013 at 8:05 am

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

  16. Sherry in MT February 7, 2013 at 7:27 am

    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.

    • Mia McPherson February 9, 2013 at 6:01 am

      I hope you will get to see a Western Tanager Sherry, they kind of take my breath away.

  17. Beverly Everson February 7, 2013 at 7:19 am


  18. John Randall February 7, 2013 at 7:48 am

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

Comments are closed.