English and Scientific names:

Western Tanager -Piranga ludoviciana

Number of individuals: 

1 basic plumaged after hatch year individual. Front or top wing bar may have had some yellow feathers growing through and lower/bottom wing bar was all white. Nonetheless, conspicuous whitish wing bars lead to first winter-male or possibly female but a strikingly yellow belly, throat, and vent point towards a male individual.


St. Charles

Specific Locality:

Saint Rose, LA at railroad tracks perpendicular to end of Adams St.

Date(s) when observed:


Time(s) of day when observed:  


Reporting observer and address:

Edward Raynor
, LA

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):


Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Great lighting. Bird was sunning itself and preening in the sun.

Optical equipment: 

Nikon 8 x 42 Premier XL

Distance to bird(s): 

12 feet at eye-level with bird

Duration of observation:

Approximately five minutes.


Small live oak trees amongst hackberry trees growing parallel to railroad tracks in large swamp in between Airline Dr. and Railroad tracks.

Behavior of bird: 

Bird was first observed near ground in vine. Then bird hopped up and preened in the sun, which was warming up on the cold morning ~ 37F. Bird flew from oak to oak along a 20 feet stretch along the edge of the swamp and preened until end of observation. Without having a camera I left the bird, which still hadn't flown away by that point.


I first noticed a greenish/yellow passerine with a yellow, heavy tanager bill, darkish wings and mantle. On closer inspection, I noticed two bold, whitish wing bars, which rules out and a bright yellow plumage except for wings and mantle, which were grayish to black but not dark black. Larger than nearby warblers, wrens, and kinglets; closer to Catharus thrush-size. Some hints of orange/bright yellow around bill.


Not heard

Similar species:

Orchard oriole, which is probably the only possible bird to be confused with, has an entirely different bill shape (icterid-type). Large-yellow bill lacking sharp appearance such as icterid bills eliminates any oriole species. Other North American tanagers ruled out by presence of bold white-wing bars (Summer, Hepatic, and Scarlet) and lack of streaked mantle (Flame-colored).

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?


Previous experience with this species: 

At feeders in Maine during winter at two different parts of the state, daily during point counts in mountains of Idaho, and numerous observations while birding northern Arizona

Identification aids:


This description is written from: 


Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 



Date and time: 

2/16/2010, 2:40pm