Weekend Birding: Scarlet Tanager
Last week, while walking in the park, I spotted a female scarlet tanager. This was the first time I have seen one in the park. I usually find them in the wooded area of the forest preserve.
Unlike the male who is a gorgeous bright red with black wings and tail, the female is an olive-yellow color. After breeding season the adult males will molt and become the same olive color, but his wings and tail remain black.
Female Scarlet Tanager
The Scarlet Tanager is a summer resident in the eastern portion of North America. They are long-distance migrants and spend the winter in South America. During September and October they make their way south flying at night across the Gulf of Mexico. There they join in a mixed flock of other foraging species and resident tropical tanagers.
Male Scarlet Tanager
These birds can be difficult to find as they prefer to stay high up in the forest canopy, hidden by the leaves. Males can be a little easier to catch sight of than females. Sometimes I’ll see a flash of red or hear the male’s robin-like song. They are slightly smaller than a Cardinal, but I use my binoculars to check out every red bird I see hiding in the leaves.
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos.
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