Date: 5/20/19 11:27 am From: Linda M <rockies1...> Subject: [cobirds] Re: Western Tanagers in Fort Collins (Larimer)
I just had a male Western Tanager here in central Greeley, Weld County. He stopped by the suet and was in a Linden Tree that is just leafing out.
Linda Martin Greeley
On Monday, May 20, 2019 at 12:00:06 AM UTC-6, Dave Leatherman wrote: > > I had a group of at least 8 Western Tanagers today in the neighborhood > just east of Grandview Cemetery (Grandview and Frey Avenues between Laporte > and Mountain Avenues, including two alleys). All seemed to be males and > all spent time in boxelder trees (*Acer negundo*). They appeared to be > nit-picking at small insects associated with new leaves. Upon inspection, > I found these leaves to harbor several Boxelder Psyllid (*Psylla > negundinis*) nymphs of varying sizes. These have sucking mouthparts and > like most insects with this feeding style, they produce sugary honeydew > (aka excrement). You can see a droplet of this behind the top nymph in the > photo. Nymphs turn into adults that look like the bottom photo below. > > A female Bullock's Oriole also foraged in a similar manner in boxelder and > I believe it, too, was getting psyllids. > > > > > > Similar to what others are reporting, in previous weeks the first few > Western Tanagers in the neighborhood e of Grandview Cemetery spent time at > feeders offering suet. > > In years past when I see Western Tanagers in the cemetery, they are mostly > in cotoneaster shrubs eating flower buds, flowers or developing fruits. > This year cotoneaster seems to be behind in its development (due to the > last "bomb cyclone"?) and, thus, the flowers are not available yet. Like > most birds facing hardship or abnormal conditions, the tanagers try to cope > and adjust. This year it seems suet is a favorite energy source, and I had > not noticed them feeding on boxelder psyllids before, either. As a > cautionary note, not previously noticing Western Tanagers feeding on either > of these foods could well be oversights on my part, not really novel foods > in 2019. > > Dave Leatherman > Fort Collins >