NFR Western Tanagers/Black Headed Grosbeaks

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Greg Armstrong, May 8, 2013.

  1. Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Posts: 1,028
    Pugetropolis
    Ratings: +343 / 0
    They're back...
    And a welcome sight to me. I saw a flock of four male Western Tanagers on an outing two days ago, and a male Black Headed Grosbeak has been visiting our feeder for the last couple of days. Two of our most gorgeous neo-tropical migrants have returned - a week or so earlier than I remember seeing them in the past.
    Seeing lots of migrating Warblers lately too.
    The sight and sounds of these springtime birds help me remember many past fishing seasons.
    I put "NFR" on my post, but to me it's all part of the experience.
  2. Eyejuggler Beech Nut

    Posts: 618
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +341 / 0
    It's a huge part of the experience, you are totally correct.
    I have to just hear or see certain birds and I am instantly transported to a happy place!
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  3. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,887
    .
    Ratings: +205 / 0
    Damn, our grosbeaks haven't showed up yet but, according to my records, they should be here by now. We had a rose breasted grosbeak a few years back and, yes, I have pictures.

    MB
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  4. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    No Grosbeaks in our yard yet, but they should start showing up any day now. If we get lucky we'll have a few Tanagers, but they seem a little shy and don't come in to our feeders very often.
  5. Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Posts: 1,028
    Pugetropolis
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    Patrick,
    Watch for the Tanagers foraging through the new foliage in Big Leaf Maples. I'veI seen them doing that a lot in May. The flock I saw were picking through a thicket of streamside willows however.
    I've also seen the Tanagers feeding on ripe Salmon Berries a little later in the season.
    For those who've never seen one, watch for a bright yellow, robin sized bird with a bright flaming orange head and jet black wings - you'll never forget this bird!
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  6. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,631
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,659 / 0
    Shit, we've all gone from fly fishers to Bird watcher in three easy lessons. Somebody just shoot me.
    Dipnet likes this.
  7. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    Thanks for the advice Greg. The few I've seen have been in our cherry tree. I've got service berries around our little koi pond and I hope that draws in some this year.
  8. rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

    Posts: 1,232
    Renton wa
    Ratings: +78 / 0
    I saw two birds with like red or orange things on there head. I was wondering what these amazing bird's were. Now I've been schooled.
  9. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    Western Tanager
    [IMG]

    Evening Grossbeak
    [IMG]

    Both are large - about the size of a Redwing Blackbird
  10. riseform Active Member

    Posts: 1,096
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +286 / 0
    I saw my first Western Tanager last year and immediately fell in love. Thanks for the update. My goal is to get a good photo this year.
  11. Steve Vaughn Member

    Posts: 314
    Richland, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Thanks for the pics Patrick. Being from the East Coast I am still learning the Western birds. Of course, we do have the Evening Grosbeak in NY.

    Steve
  12. rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

    Posts: 1,232
    Renton wa
    Ratings: +78 / 0
    opps, guess I was wrong. It had like a red crest thing on top and was black.
  13. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 901
    Silverdale, WA
    Ratings: +370 / 0
    We've had Grosbeaks at the feeders for the last week or so here in Silverdale and Greg is right about that being a sure sign of spring!
  14. Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Posts: 1,028
    Pugetropolis
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    [IMG] P

    Patrick et al;

    Here's a photo of a male "Black Headed" Grosbeak. These head south for the winter and arrive back here in spring. This is what showed up at our feeder for the last few days.
    The "Evening" Grosbeak posted above is a year round resident here, but sadly their numbers are declining each year (sounds familiar, eh?).
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  15. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    We get flocks of the Grosbeaks in the spring, but then they head to cooler elevations when it starts to get hot. I haven't seen a black headed Grosbeak yet, but I'll be on the lookout now.
  16. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
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    Sounds interesting. I wonder what it was.
  17. teedub Active Member

    Posts: 361
    Cle Elum
    Ratings: +98 / 0
    Patrick

    Funny you should bring this up, by now I should have seen at least a couple and nothing here in Cle Elum (Tanagers).
  18. Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Posts: 1,028
    Pugetropolis
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    Rainbow,
    Did it look like this? The only local bird I know of that's black and has a red crest is the Pileated Woodpecker;
    [IMG]
  19. rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

    Posts: 1,232
    Renton wa
    Ratings: +78 / 0
    Could be, I dont remember seeing the white. But the red was pretty bright like that. There were two perched on a branch.
  20. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,097
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +565 / 0
    A conversation last year with a female friend about how promiscuous hummingbirds were, ended quite funny. Every time she sees one, she says "Oh look, there goes a "Little Fucker". And that's how they are referred to!
    little F.jpg