The Bird Book/Tanagers

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The Bird Book by Chester A. Reed
Tanagers: Family Tangaridae


WESTERN TANAGER. Piranga ludoviciana.

Range. United States, west of the Plains and north to British Columbia.

This handsome species is black and yellow, with an orange or reddish head.

They are common and breed in suitable localities through their range, nesting

as do the eastern Tanagers in trees usually at a low elevation, the nests being

saddled on the forks of horizontal branches; they are made of rootlets, strips

of bark, and weed stalks, - ' and are usually frail like

those of the Grosbeaks.

Their eggs, which are laid

in May or June, are bluish

green, specked with brown

of varying shades. Size

.95 x .65. Hunting

()()8. SCARLET TANAGER. romelas.

Piranha en/th

These beautiful scarlet and black birds frequent, chiefly, woodlands, although they are very often found breeding in orchards and small pine groves. They are quiet birds, in actions, but their loud warbling song is

heard at a great distance, and is readily recognized by its peculiarity. They nest upon hori

Greenish blue



zontal limbs or forks at elevations of four to twenty feet, making frail nests of twigs, rootlets and weeds; they are often found in pine trees, but apparently just as frequently in other kinds. Their eggs are greenish blue, specked and spotted with various shades of brown. Size .95 x .65. Data. Holden, Mass., May 31, 1898. Nest on low limb of an oak, 4 feet above ground; of weeds and rootlets and very frail.

6'09. HEPATIC TANAGER. Piranga hepatica.

Range. Western Mexico, north to New Mexico and Arizona in summer.

This species is similar to the next but is darker red on the upper parts and bright vermilion below. They nest on the lower horizontal Bluish green branches of trees, usually live oaks, making the nests of rootlets and weeds; the eggs are bluish green, like those of the next, but the markings appear to average more blotchy and brighter. Size .92 x .64.

Scarlet Tanager

6'10. SUMMER TANAGER. Piranga rubra rubra. Range. Eastern United States, breeding from the Gulf to New York and Kansas, and casually farther; west to Texas; winters south of our borders.

This bird is of the size of the Scarlet Tanager, but is of a uniform rosy red color, darker on the back. They are very common in the South Atlantic and Gulf States. Their nests are located at low elevations on horizontal branches of trees in open woods, edges of clearings, or along the roadside; the nests are made of strips of bark, weed stems, leaves, etc., and are frail like those of the other Tanagers. Their eggs are light bluish green, speckled and spotted with reddish brown, and not distinguishable with certainty from those of the ^^^ Scarlet Tanager. Size .92

Light bluish green X .64.


Piranga rubra cooperi.

Range. Western United States, breeding from the Mexican border and Texas north to central California and Nevada.

Similar to but slightly larger than the last. There are no differences between the nesting of this form and the last and the eggs are not in any way different.


Summer Tanager