Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be invited over to someone’s home to observe the Western Tanager(s) coming to the awesome feeder station. After waiting about 45 minutes, the female finally approached the feeder from the back and spent the next 5-10 minutes around the suet and perched just above the feeders in a small branch.
We never saw the stunning male that has been recorded there in the last week, but I did see a second female type in the trees higher up while this one was munching on suet…that makes at least 3 Western Tanagers at this location, which is a Duval County all-time record high count of the species.
I’ve only seen this species three times previously in Jacksonville: 24 Mar 2013, 28 Dec 2013, and 30 Jan 2016. The December bird is one I found on the Christmas Bird Count deep in Cedar Point Preserve; the other observations are of birds coming to feeders.
From my annotated account of the species in Duval County history, many of the records dating back to 1972 are from the month of March – so odds are these birds will stick around for at least another month. Previous dates include 21 Mar 1972, 4-6 Mar 1980, 30 Apr 2010, Mar 2013.