Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

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3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

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This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

Western Tanager, Piranga ludoviciana

Lives in  western conifer forests and coast ranges during the late spring and summer. In winter Western tanager moves south to Mexico and Central America, or  slums in the parks and suburbs in the winter  . In our Santa Margarita nursery we are seeing them all year. Western Tanager eats bugs and berries. The bugs are mostly from the canopy, bark, leaves and twigs of conifers or in midair.
Western Tanager is a  strong flier, picking off insects in flight or foraging upside down in conifers looking for bugs that are tasty.

Western Tanager  wanders around the nursery looking lost and gun shy. Both the male and female appear to be intelligent since they fly away whenever a human gets close enough to take a picture.
I noticed the male taking a bath in one of the puddles in a driveway as I was driving one the nursery trucks. The nursery trucks have cracked windshields that only get clean when we can't see the road. Mr. Tanager was fine as long as the camera and I were on the other side of the dirty glass, once the camera came out he was gone.

What a cute innocent bird. The Western Tanager really liked the Prunus virginiana  melanocarpa  Black Chokecherry..
Western Tanager -  Piranga ludoviciana right after he had a nice bath in the birdbath - grid24_12
This Western Tanager, Piranga ludoviciana, has visited the birdbath every day from June through August.
Three Western Bluebirds, and a female Western Tanager enjoying breakfast in a Mahonia nevinii. This Barberry is very slow, but the wildlife will show up as soon as the first flower or berry shows up in the garden.
I have no idea what this tanager was thinking. sHe's yellow, they're blue! Breakfast in a Mahonia nevinii.