Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Western Tanager in NJ


I guess this NJ Birds editor job is paying off! I got a note today from someone at NJ Audubon asking me to check out a report of a Western Tanager at a feeder in nearby Plainfield. I gave the homeowner a call and found out that it was someone I actually knew. I had birded her yard during the Raritan Estuary Xmas Count twice. Her yard was a hotspot for a wintering Brown Thrasher for several years.

So anyway, I went to check out the bird and was very confident that the owner was correct in her ID. I arrived at the house and within minutes a gorgeous male Western Tanager landed on the feeder. Huzzah! I got some crappy pictures through the window of her kitchen. The pic above was the best of them. This represents one of only a handful of spring records for Western Tanager in NJ.

11 comments:

Rick said...

Cool! Believe it or not, I never saw one in my NJ years.

Rob Ripma said...

Awesome! Sounds like rare birds are definitely a perk of your job!

dAwN said...

Wow...How great is that! nice.

Beth in NYC said...

Nice! These are such beautiful birds. We had one in Central Park last year at about the same time but it didn't have the pretty orange on its head that yours has. A great find for NJ!

John said...

I finally saw one last March in Central Park. Do you think Western Tanagers are more likely to appear in spring or fall?

Born Again Bird Watcher said...

Congrats on the sighting!

Patrick Belardo said...

Thanks everyone!

@John - They are very rare this late into the spring. I believe this is the 2nd record after April 1 in the last 50 years. It's entirely possible that this bird got lost in fall migration and somehow survived the winter nearby, but it's also possible that it's an unusual spring migrant. I don't know enough to say one way or the other.

Abe Lincoln said...

Another first. I never saw one before.

Gallicissa said...

Good bird!

GolfCaddy said...

I haven't seen these either! I'm missing out, lucky the weather is getting brighter!


*I Donated to Cornell Ornithology!*
http://www.opticsplanet.net/cornell-lab-of-ornithology.html

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.