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Western tanager        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Some of these western tanagers -- all adult males during spring migration -- were feeding in Mexican bird-of-paradise and other plants at a small highway rest area in the middle of the southern California desert.   The contrast with their normal habitat (conifer forests) was striking; the other images were made in typical montane habitats in the San Jacinto Mountains, and in blackberry vines in Monterey, California.   Pictures of other western tanagers are on another page.

  • Canon 1D4, 7D2, 5D4, or R7; 500mm f4 IS with 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens with 1.4X converter; fill-in flash (2013, 2017, 2022)