It’s Time – Western Tanagers Are Migrating Through Colorado
From the tiniest feathered fledglings to big birds of prey, Colorado is home to over 400 different species of birds. Some avian species are more commonly seen than others, and it's extra exciting when a rare bird is spotted somewhere within the Centennial State.
But rather than residing here all year round, some birds use Colorado as a temporary stopover, while they make their way to other destinations across the continent. One of these migrating species of birds is the beautiful Western Tanager, which Coloradans are currently seeing more of throughout the region right now.
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This makes sense since Western Tanagers typically migrate through the state twice a year - during the late spring and early fall. These treetop foragers migrate at night and travel at high altitudes, usually alone or in pairs.
Adult Western Tanagers are recognized by their bright yellow bodies with orangish-red heads. Although they are vibrant in appearance, they are often inconspicuous and difficult to observe.
During migration, they can be seen in a wide variety of habitats, including suburban yards, grasslands, shrub-steppe, and orchards. According to the National Park Service, Western Tanagers are commonly found in forest openings and seem most at home in the dry Douglas-fir forests.
Have you spotted any of these birds in Colorado?