Friday, June 06, 2008

Your Random Tidbit of the Day

I saw this Western Tanager from my kitchen window today while I was preparing a bottle of formula. Perhaps you, like I was earlier, are wondering what a brightly colored (nearly tropical!) bird is doing at our chilly parallel. I figured him for an escapee, but Utah falls in his native area. Point of fact, that native area stretches across most of the western US. Also of note, the riot red coloring on his face is not produced by the bird, he has to get it from the diet of bugs he eats.
I call him a he, the females are harder to spot; they are olive colored and more camouflaged. This specimen is not in it's mating season colors either. As mating season approaches, the blaze can cover the entire head. I am pretty amazed that I've not seen one before, garbed like a road worker in tux and tails. It just goes to show me that if I stop and stand still for a moment, hidden things like this reveal themselves.
And that's your random tidbit of the day.


Melissa said...

Very cool! I've never seen one either. Pretty amazing that they are native to Utah.

Craig said...

I know nothing of birds, but I still liked this.

Bird watching is NOT just for my grandparents and other humans who live alone and have many cats... it's for Jay too! And maybe even me. (Shhhh! Don't tell!)