Meet The Eye-Catching StrawƄerry-Colored Bird Who Has Got To Be One Of The Most Striking Birds In North Aмerica.
The Summer Tanager, with its rosy red to orange plumage from head to tail, is truly one of the most striking birds in North America. The male Summer Tanager is a radiant red color, while the immature males display a dull yellow-olive plumage with patches of red. Females exhibit variable shades, ranging from pale yellow to lighter orange.
Being the only completely red bird in North America, the Summer Tanager is a breathtaking sight amidst the green foliage of the woods. These birds breed once a year and raise a single brood each summer.
While they maintain one mate throughout each breeding season, they may not necessarily do so in successive seasons, indicating sequential monogamy.
Formerly classified in the tanager family (Thraupidae), the Summer Tanager, scientifically known as Piranga rubra, is now grouped with other members of its genus in the cardinal family (Cardinalidae).
Summer Tanagers prefer habitats in open woods, particularly areas with oak trees. They primarily feed on honey bees and wasps, but also consume various insects and occasionally indulge in berries.
These birds tend to stay high in the forest canopy, waiting before sallying out to catch flying insects. They also move slowly along tree branches to gather food.
Meet the Summer Tanager! The male Summer Tanager sports a year-round radiant rose or orange-red plumage and measures approximately 6.7 inches in length. They can be distinguished from the Scarlet Tanager due to their paler plumage, as well as their red wings instead of black.
Isn’t she a beauty? Juvenile males resemble females, both displaying a radiant yellow-green coloration—more yellow on the head and underparts and slightly greener on the wings and back.
Look at those colors! In general, females exhibit a more olive upper body and orange-yellow underparts. Their wings and tail have an olive-brown hue, and some females develop male pigmentation as they mature.
These striking birds possess large, thick bills with blunt tips. The male Summer Tanager sings a sweet, whistling tune reminiscent of an American Robin, while both genders emit a distinctive pit-ti-tuck call note.
Let’s build a nest! Upon arriving at their breeding grounds in spring, Summer Tanagers typically construct nests on horizontal branches, usually 2.5 to 10.5 meters above the ground. The female builds the nest using herbaceous vegetation lined with grass, and she lays 3 to 4 eggs in it.
Sightseeing time! Incubation is solely undertaken by the female, lasting approximately 12 to 13 days. During this period, the male may either assist the female or tend to his feathers according to his preference. However, once the chicks hatch, the male actively participates in feeding and caring for them. The chicks fledge after 8 to 10 weeks.
Don’t I look gorgeous? Take a look! Watch and listen to the Summer Tanager below.
The Summer Tanager can be found in the southern and eastern United States, south of southern Pennsylvania and northern Illinois. During winter, they migrate to northern South America and Mexico.
With an incredibly extensive range, this species does not approach the Vulnerable threshold according to the IUCN range size criterion.