This is the second year in a row we’ve been visited by a pair of Scarlet Tanagers. Yay!
These birds are so brightly colored that they could be part of a neon sign. They look like they should spend their lives in a tropical jungle. Instead, they spend winters in places like Colombia and Ecuador and their summers in eastern North America.
They live mostly in the tree tops, where they like to eat insects. They’re also fond of fruit, which will attract them to lower elevations on occasion.
In terms of feeders, that means they will go for suet, grape jelly, and oranges. They are also attracted to berries and small fruits of many kinds. Think Serviceberries, Elderberries, Currants, Blackberries, etc.
Regarding size, Scarlet Tanagers are bigger than a Sparrow but smaller than a Robin.
These are the male’s summer colors. After breeding season, they let themselves go rather drab.
Scarlet Tanager sitting on a wire.
Judy caught the male and female together in this picture. The female is mostly greenish-yellow. Last year we saw the Scarlet Tanager for just a single day. This year we’ve seen them 2 days in a row so far. Wouldn’t it be cool if they nested nearby and visited regularly over the summer?
Oh, and remember how I said we had Orchard Orioles visiting this year for the first time? Judy managed to get a picture of this one. They are smaller and darker than their Baltimore cousins.
Have you seen Scarlet Tanagers in your garden?