Christopher Taylor Bird Nature Wildlife Mammal Photography
bird photography

Summer Tanager Photo @
Location: Magee Marsh (Crane Creek), OH
GPS: 41.6N, -83.2W, elev=573' MAP
Date: May 6, 2012
ID : B13K4910 [4896 x 3264]

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Summer Tanager Picture @
Location: Dry Tortugas, FL
GPS: 24.6N, -82.9W, elev=1' MAP
Date: April 12, 2010
ID : 7C2V6176 [3888 x 2592]

Summer Tanager Picture @
Location: Oak Openings Preserve (Toledo, OH)
GPS: 41.5N, -83.8W, elev=659' MAP
Date: May 25, 2009
ID : 7C2V7971 [3888 x 2592]

nature photography

Summer Tanager Picture @
Location: California Gulch, AZ
GPS: 31.4N, -111.2W, elev=3,689' MAP
Date: August 1, 2009
ID : 7C2V1049 [3888 x 2592]

Summer Tanager Picture @
Location: Sycamore Canyon, AZ
GPS: 31.4N, -111.2W, elev=3,940' MAP
Date: August 1, 2009
ID : 7C2V0831 [3888 x 2592]

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The Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra, is a medium-sized songbird. It was usually considered a fairly typical kind of tanager and placed in the Thraupidae, but is more likely a relative of the cardinals (Cardinalidae).

Their breeding habitat is open wooded areas, especially with oaks, across the southern United States. These birds migrate to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. This tanager is an extremely rare vagrant to western Europe.

Adults have stout pointed bills. Adult males are rose red; females are orangish on the underparts and olive on top, with olive-brown wings and tail.

These birds are often out of sight, foraging high in trees, sometimes flying out to catch insects in flight. They mainly eat insects, especially bees and wasps, and berries. Notably, fruit of Cymbopetalum mayanum (Annonaceae) are a well-liked food in the winter quarters, and birds will forage in human-altered habitat. Consequently, these trees can be planted to entice them to residential areas, and they may well be attracted to bird feeders. Summer Tanagers build a cup nest on a horizontal tree branch.

The Summer Tanager has an American Robin-like song, similar enough that novices sometimes mistake this bird for that species. The song consists of melodic units, repeated in a constant stream. The Summer Tanager's song, however, is much more monotonous than that of T. migratorius, often consisting of as few as 3 or 4 distinct units. It is clearer and less nasal than the song of the Scarlet Tanager.

The Summer Tanager also has a sharp, agitated-sounded call pi-tuk or pik-i-tuk-i-tuk.


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summer_tanager's Range Map Click here to see the Summer Tanager's range map!
Listen to the Summer Tanager Song:

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All images and video © Copyright 2006-2017 Christopher Taylor, Content and maps by their respective owner. All rights reserved.
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