Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Summer Tanager Pair

A pair of Summer Tanagers spends a lot of time in the trees around our house, and this morning I watched them together, preening among the leaves of a large white oak. The female – who spent much more time on her grooming than the male did, at least on this occasion – looked beautiful in a quiet, understated way, with her rich dark yellow breast, and olive-yellow back and wings. She was so close I could even see the faint yellow ring around each eye. She blended in so well with the leaves that I probably would not have seen her if they hadn’t flown in together – the rose-red male quickly catching my eye. With their long, thick bills and slightly crested heads, Summer Tanagers usually look more sturdy and strong than graceful, but this morning the female was the picture of feminine charm.

The male Summer Tanager sings early every morning right outside our bedroom windows, and often during the rest of the day, and their soft, staccato “pi-tuk” calls – often sounding very domestic and expressive – lace through the trees all day. It’s a pleasant, peaceful, summery sound.


At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caught up on your recent posrings. Also read tribute to David. You do have a full life. I am more attached to hearing my own noise.


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