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

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

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