[Tweeters] what's with the Western Tanagers?

Steve Hampton stevechampton at gmail.com
Wed Oct 13 16:09:36 PDT 2021


This is reminding me of a pattern I've seen before in the Sacramento Valley
in northern California. First we had late fall tanagers, then the rare
over-wintering individuals, and now they are regular uncommon in winter. On
the local CBC, they were reported once 1970-1999. Since 2000, they have
been reported more years than not and are now expected on the CBC. That's a
dramatic shift.

Unlike the Puget Trough, however, the Sacramento area crossed a climate
threshold about 8 years ago; it no longer freezes in winter, making a vast
array of insects and fruit available. This has meant over-wintering
tanagers, warblers, vireos, etc. I analyzed CBC data and wrote about it

Avian Responses to Rapid Climate Change: Examples from the Putah Creek
Christmas Bird Count


On Wed, Oct 13, 2021 at 12:40 PM Dennis Paulson <dennispaulson at comcast.net>

> Several people have reported Western Tanagers that seemed a bit late at

> this latitude for a Neotropical migrant, and they should have heard the

> news by now that we are expecting a colder, wetter winter. However, I just

> had one (13 October) bathing at our pond in NE Seattle. It was a mature

> male in full basic (nonbreeding) plumage, with vivid black and yellow body,

> wings and tail, most of the yellow head feathers with brownish tips. I

> don’t think I’ve ever seen this plumage in Washington before.


> My latest date for them in the fall is usually before the end of

> September, but I once saw one on 7 October.


> Dennis Paulson

> Seattle

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Steve Hampton
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