Tag Archives: Birds on a Budget

Tanagers and Chats, Arizona Style

Birdseed is a luxury expense I can’t afford, but I’ve found ways to enjoy having birds in the yard that are inexpensive and attract a wider variety than housefinches and sparrows, who will chow down a bag of birdseed in days. I buy marked-down fruit, and suet is on sale everywhere now. I get free bread from the senior center (which we eat too of course) but it is often already stale (they receive unsold bread from the supermarket). The birds love it and I love them.

Male western tanager at the oranges

Male western tanager with piece of bread

Male western tanager. You can see they have different shapes, which seems odd to me.

Male western tanager showing his little butt

What? I'm not fat, I'm fluffy!

Male western tanager---look how slender this one is.

A treeful of tanagers!

Time to replace this orange half.

Tanagers always come with their mates: female western tanager.

After the birds have taken a bit of fruit or suet, they rub their beaks back and forth on a branch or other surface.

Female western tanager. Female creatures are usually less colorful than the males, this helps camouflage them when they have babies. But they are just as beautiful.

Yellow-breasted chat, the largest of the warblers.

Yellow-breasted chat, the male and female look very similar.

Yellow-breasted chat