Looking at this wildly, brilliant-coloured bird you’d think that this image was snapped by the photographer in the jungle in some exotic locale, and who could fault you for that thought?
But, it’s not the case.
Believe it, or not, most Cariboo-ites could lay eyes on one of these beauties of Mother Nature in many areas, right in their own backyards.
The bird pictured is a Western Tanager (6-7.5 inches in height), and although not as common as a robin, a starling, blackbirds or crows, they are around in good numbers.
The bird-book tells you to look for them in open coniferous forests but this photo was snapped as the bird alighted in a willow bush alongside an open expanse of hayfield along a creek.
Their song is loud and strong, the sound carries far. They nest here, laying 3-5 blue-ish/green speckled eggs in a flimsy looking shallow, saucer-shaped nest usually built in the fork of a coniferous tree (happy, patient hunting for that) fairly low down.
Early on the Tanager feeds on insects, switching later to berries and other small fruits as they become available.
Keep your eyes peeled (off your smart-phone) you may be rewarded with a sighting of this visual-delight.