NFR Western Tanagers/Black Headed Grosbeaks

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

  1. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

    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

    Eyejuggler Beech Nut

    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

    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.

    Patrick Gould likes this.
  4. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

    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

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

    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

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    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

    Patrick Gould Active Member

    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

    rainbow 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.
  9. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

    Western Tanager

    Evening Grossbeak

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

    riseform 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.
  11. Steve Vaughn

    Steve Vaughn Member

    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.

  12. rainbow

    rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

    opps, guess I was wrong. It had like a red crest thing on top and was black.
  13. Dipnet

    Dipnet aka 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!
  14. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

    [​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

    Patrick Gould Active Member

    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

    Patrick Gould Active Member

    Sounds interesting. I wonder what it was.
  17. teedub

    teedub Active Member


    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

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Did it look like this? The only local bird I know of that's black and has a red crest is the Pileated Woodpecker;
  19. rainbow

    rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

    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

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    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