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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Western Tanagers attack oranges

Oranges attract orange and yellow and red as fruit eating birds fill my backyard when I put out this sweet fruit.  One of the most colorful birds I enjoy at my feeder trees are the Western Tanagers.  I like them and they seem to like me.
Usually the first to appear are flocks of males where they fight and sqabble over the oranges and orange flavored suet cakes.


Individual birds prefer different food.  Some fight over a certain orange half while others perfer the suet.  Here you can see the tongue of this male savoring the sweet juice of the orange.


The females are a lot less colorful and come in a couple of days later than the males.


They seem to enjoy the oranges more than the suet and prefer to perch above the fruit to eat.


Many times they will not land on the suet to eat, but will fly to it and sally there until they get a piece.  Then they will fly to a branch to eat and clean off their bill by rubbing it on the bark.


I love trying to catch them in flight as they eat and put on a show for me.

25 comments:

texwisgirl said...

they're beautiful. glad they frequent your bountiful feeder stations!

joo said...

Beautiful birds and I love your photos!

Carol Blackburn said...

Such beautiful shots, Bill. Great job catching the wingspread on that little fella.

Andrew said...

Beautiful images of your lovely colourful birds many thanks for sharing.

Springman said...

Incredible detail and color! It's not easy to get those inflight captures. The shot of the female putting on the airbrakes is awesome stuff. WOW!

Kim, USA said...

Oh my you are blessed to have this beautiful birds. How do you put oranges on the branch? Can I put oranges inside a suet feeder?

Duck photo shoot

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wow just beautiful pictures of these beautiful birds Bill. I had never seen them in Oregon, but they did frequent the birding pond in Port Aransas Texas where I learned about birding. I couldn't figure out what the orange halves were doing there at first (the volunteers placed them about). You see all these birds that I didn't even know about until we left home to travel. (You don't need to go anyplace!)

Arija said...

Your birds are not only beautiful in themselves, but beautifully captured as well.
Thanks for coming over, I really enjoyed your blog too.

holdingmoments said...

Those Western Tanagers are so colourful Bill.
Great capture at the suet feeder.

Marias Teater said...

I have to try an orange in my garden! Maybe some lovely little reddish or yellow little thing will come to visit me? They are beautiful birds and pictures all of them - specially the first and last shot is lovely.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - thanks for visiting my blog - yes the rosellas are bright - but these birds are hardly dull!

Splendid set of pictures.

Stewart M - Australia

Gary said...

Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Jean said...

Beautiful captures of a bird I have yet to see. Very cool shot of him at the suet feeder.

Barb said...

What an absolutely beautiful bird and great photos!

Jeanne Klaver said...

Oranges? I never would have guessed! They are gorgeous, even the females. You do a super job catching them in flight.

NatureFootstep said...

that´s a nicely colored bird. :)

Isn´t it fun to try to catch them in flight? :)

mick said...

Great photos - especially the one with the tongue out licking up the juice of the orange.

Carletta said...

What beautiful birds!
I love the first two. That orange head is striking alongside the orange fruit.
Your last in flight shot is a great capture.
Carletta's Captures

bailey-road.com said...

What wonderful photos of these beautiful birds!

Sondra said...

OH one of my favorite western birds!! Your photos are excellent...keep doing what you're doing it works!!

Pat Ulrich said...

Such beautiful colors on these birds -- really cool shots!

Mike B. @ slugyard.com said...

Gorgeous birds. Tanagers didn't visit me this year. My loss.

eileeninmd said...

I just love these beautiful birds. Awesome photos, Bill!

Wendy said...

Beautiful pictures of a beautiful bird! I just love the colours. I should really put oranges out, maybe I'll get tanagers too, and orioles :)
Thanks for sharing!

Lynne said...

Gorgeous birds . . . excellent photos!