NFR Western Tanagers/Black Headed Grosbeaks

Greg Armstrong

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.

Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
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.

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.

Greg Armstrong

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!
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.


My name is Mark Oberg
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.


Active Member
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.


The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
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!

Greg Armstrong


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?).
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.