About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Cardinal is not the only "Red Bird" in Michigan

Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea

Description: Breeding male is bright red with black wings and tail and a pale bill. Fall male is patchy red and olive green with black wings. The female is olive green with brownish olive wings and tail edged in green.

General: There are over 200 tanagers species that come in every color of the rainbow. The Scarlet Tanager is the only tanager that routinely nests in Michigan. They are found mainly in mature deciduous forests with hemlock and pine. They can also be found in younger deciduous forests and sometimes in heavily wooded suburban areas from late April to late September. They winter in northern and western South America, in Panama and as far south as Bolivia.
Behavior: The song of the Scarlet Tanager has been compared to that of a “robin with a sore throat.” They glean insects from the tree canopy and have been recorded eating over 2,000 gypsy moth caterpillars in an hour. They will also eat fruit and berries when seasonally available. A group of tanagers are collectively known as a "season" of tanagers.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had one come through my garden this year, it was on Mother's Day. He stuck around for a day or two, and then left. Beautiful bird, very striking.