A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Right on time, back after a long trip

Written May 15th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

With its red head and yellow body, this western tanager made an impression on Friday.

Over the last couple of days a small group of colorful visitors presented themselves at the feeder outside my window, fairly inviting themselves into this blog.

They were western tanagers, and there were males and females in the group, but the females were not that colorful and did not ask to be photographed.

One of my bird books is “Birds of the Willamette Valley Region” by Harry Nehls, Tom Aversa and Hal Opperman, published by R.W. Morse Company in Olympia, Wash.

The book says the western tanager is common in the valley from May to September. So this little flock got here right on time, it appears.

Where did they hang out before making their appearance in Albany? According to the book, they wintered in central America, somewhere from Mexico to Costa Rica.

It’s warmer there, and presumably sunnier too. Smart birds, you tanagers. Thanks for coming back, and glad you survived the long trip. (hh)

One gets ready for a snack while his friend is waiting his turn.


Hey, no reason to get angry. There’s enough suet for two.






6 responses to “Right on time, back after a long trip”

  1. Teresa says:


  2. Patricia Eich says:

    Thank you for an upbeat, informative start to my day
    A pretty little bird. I’m always amazed at how far birds migrate.

  3. CHEZZ says:

    Thank you, Hasso for the article and photos. I have a zillion of them at my place. Their colorful presence makes for a tropical paradise!

  4. Kathwren says:

    A beautiful sight.

  5. James Engel says:

    YES…up on the utility line this mid day!!!! WOW, what a colorful bird…. We get like 12 – 15 different varieties of small birds at our large grain feeder. We built it & they came as the saying goes. NOW, we have 2 – 4 crows in our immediate area. They travel 2 – 4 blocks away but roost up on the power poles or lines. Raucous bunch like a bunch of Demo’s running for office !!!!! Not to mention a hawk or two….

  6. Tina Keogh says:

    We had a flock of the little beauties in our backyard for about a week! They were feeding on berries that grow on a huge bush that we have. Sure hope they come back.


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