Perhaps you've noticed the small, brightly-colored birds hanging out in the valley this spring. They have a red-orange head and face, a yellow body and a black back and wings. They're actually male Western Tanagers. And they seem to be everywhere this year. Begging the question, why?
I decided to call my local newspaper, and ended up leaving a message for the editor I worked with on the hiking articles from last year. I said something like, "Hi, with all the Western Tanagers in the valley this year I thought you might want to do an article on why there are so many. A lot of people have been talking them. I don't have to write the article, but will if you want me to. Let me know."
Well, the editor called back and said, go for it. (With the deadline being the next evening.)
Long story short, I got busy and sleuthed out the answer to why there are so many Western Tanagers in Utah this year. The article printed today in the Outdoors Section. Here is the online link:
The Bridgerland Audubon Society also has an article on their website written by Holly Strand of the Stokes Nature Center up Logan Canyon that explains the phenomenon as well. You can read it here:
All in all I really enjoyed being in the birding element for a few days. It was nice getting updates from Utah Birdtalk about the sitings others were having across the state.