Floy pretty much described this bird in her post below. We see it show up in the spring in the San Francisco Bay Area, usually, but not always in riparian areas. It is a common summer bird in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Dave has been posting images of the colorful tanagers we saw in Costa Rica. Our local Central California tanager is the Western Tanager. It is no longer in the Tanager family but the name survives. We see these birds in the summer, particularly in the Sierras, when the males have brilliant breeding plumage. They have inspired many paintings.
Some quick sketches I did while Dave was photographing tanagers in Costa Rica.
It’s hard to describe the feeling that a birder has seeing one of these for the first time. They are strikingly beautiful with a color combination that takes the breath away from the viewer.