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Tom Kenney

Western Tanager

Western Tanager, Tokopah Valley, Sequoia National Park.  (Original Size)

This guy landed right here next to the trail as we walked past on a 'preview hike' partway up the Tokopah Falls Trail.  I've been hiking all over the eastern Sierra, but this was one of my few trips to the west side.  I'd never seen one of these, so it was a bit of a surprise to see the bright red.  Most of the birds on the east side are pretty dull by comparison.

Unfortunately, we missed the 3 bears that were roaming the valley that evening.  A passer-by showed us her 20+ DSLR shots of the bears...I turned green with envy!

Nice. Thanks for sharing.

cool colors!


Really cool.  The first time I saw one was near Big Horn Mine.  The second time was approaching Florence Lake, and my friend and I stopped the car to get a better look.  They're beautiful birds.

Very nice, Tom. They (males of course) are at their brightest when courting. The red disappears in autumn and winter. Great timing to get that photo; thanks for posting.

Is that hike as nice as it sounds?

We get tanagers in the back yard (incl hepatic) but they all tend to hang around out back in the orchard, and are skittish when closer to the house.
Here's a male in transition pausing for a drink after a brief shower. (photo was thru a double pane).

kind regards,
Tom Kenney

Thanks for the kind words, everybody!

@arocknoid re: Tokopah trail...

Yes, very beautiful.  We were there at sunset, so only went about 1 mile up (almost below The Watchtower).  There are some neat cascades along the river, and meadows.  Lots of tiny wildflowers, too.  The bears are supposed to be regulars, and not causing trouble in the campground so there's no pressure to deport them to Kearsarge.
Mike P

We saw a Western Tanager yesterday at Jackstraw Springs in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. It was quite vocal, too.

I saw one of those above the Royal Gorge about six weeks ago, but it was too quick for me to snap a shot of it. Same beautiful colors as in your photo. Thanks!

Recent pics of Western Tanagers--both sightings were near dusk

On the Chapman Trail above Cedar Glen:

And on trail @ Dobbs:

These two were quite fleeting, in search of last snack of the day.

kind regards,
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