|Western Tanager at Malheur NWR, Oregon. May 28, 2013 by Greg Gillson.|
At the oasis that is Malheur NWR headquarters, one of the volunteers filled the seed and hummingbird feeders in the morning. Then she did something I've never seen before. She cut oranges in half and impaled them on a couple of lilac bushes and small trees.
While the few Bullock's Orioles enjoyed the oranges, the Western Tanagers stole the show. It was late in spring migration, yet at dawn numerous flycatchers of several species, Lazuli Buntings (all females) and at least 35 Western Tanagers flew from the sage into the trees at headquarters--completing their nocturnal migration by fortuitously finding a wondrous 3 acres of water, shelter, and food to rest up. Here the tanagers will stay until the evening--or perhaps a couple of days--before continuing on their way north to cool mountain forests to breed.
What follows is a collection of Western Tanager photos from refuge headquarters at Malheur NWR on May 28, 2013. As you view the photos of the tanagers, note that no two--neither males or females--are colored exactly alike. Enjoy!
Other bird photos from my trip around Malheur refuge and vicinity are here.