Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Scarlet Tanager

In New York's Central Park on a bird walk in May 2023 we encountered several scarlet tanagers. I was thinking "been there, done that" as I was watching them, thinking of the summer tanagers I've seen at Big Morongo in California and in Colombia. Then, afterwards, I got thinking about it and realized that our guides had pointed out the black wings which a summer tanager does not have and that this was a new bird for me. 
The scarlet tanager breeds in the eastern U.S. and Canada and winters in lower Central America and into South America in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and portions of the Caribbean. 
Scarlet tanager range from Wikipedia.
Breeding males are scarlet red with black wings and tail and a horn-colored bill. Although it looks a lot like a summer tanager, it is in the same family as a cardinal. Females, which I did not see, are olive with yellowish underparts and yellow-olive wings and tail. Non-breeding males are a similar color to the female, but have darker wings and tail. 

In Colombia I also saw the crimson-backed tanager which is also red with black wings, but has a darker head. 

1 comment:

  1. I didn't see all the birds you saw in Central Park, but this brilliant red one was hard to miss.