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The Flutist's Field Guide to The Western Tanager

The Flutist's Field Guide to The Western Tanager

Bartholomew, Greg


  • Ensemble: Flute
  • Genre: Modern Classical
  • Grade: 5
  • Duration: 2.0 minutes
  • Catalog Number: AOS580

The Flutist's Field Guide to the Western Tanager is based on the song of the Western Tanager, which may be heard on the website.

The Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana, is a medium-sized American songbird. Formerly placed in the tanager family, it and other members of its genus are now classified in the cardinal family. The species's plumage and vocalizations are similar to other members of the cardinal family. The song of disconnected short phrases suggests an American Robin's but is hoarser and, some say, rather monotonous. The call is described as "pit-er-ick."

The Western Tanagers are distinctive summer visitors to Washington State and are the only tanagers found regularly in Washington. Their bills are of medium thickness, thinner than those of seed-eaters and thicker than those of insectivores. Adult males are bright yellow and black, with orange-red heads. It would be difficult to mistake an adult male for any other bird in Washington. All plumages are mostly yellow, with dark tails and two wing-bars on each wing. The dark markings are solid black on mature males and gray to brown on females and juveniles. Males have one white and one yellow wing-bar on each wing. Both wing-bars may be white, or one may be pale yellow on females, which are duller yellow than males. First-year males have little or no red on their heads.

A contemporary work dedicated to Lish Lindsey.

The ScoreFlipper audio is from a performance by flutist Lish Lindsey

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