Item Number: 2995LR
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ABOUT THE IMAGE:
Weeks before mountain snows clear from the Rocky Mountain West and wildflowers start to pepper the high country, other colorful blossoms arrive in the trees of the valleys and some have wings. Western tanagers are neo-tropical migrants that remind us how wildlife connects people across cultures and vast geographies, says Thomas D. Mangelsen.
With Spring Blossoms
, the compositional juxtaposition of subject and negative space reminds one of an oriental bird painting. Yet Mangelsen hopes it serves as a muse for contemplating threats to biodiversity. Male western tanagers—bequeathed with colorful markings that aid in attracting mates—are noted for their red heads, yellow hoods and chests and marbled wing patterns. They wing through the Rockies toward northern breeding areas in summer and then travel thousands of miles southward to winter in central America—a remarkable journey!
“To me, the appearance of tanagers signifies the advance of green-up coming to the mountains and it would not be springtime without them,” Mangelsen says. “What are your favorite birds? Look at this photo and take a moment to remember them. Reflect on how much joy they deliver. Be their advocates by supporting groups that specialize in bird conservation.”