Birding Notes

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

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Scarlet Tanager – Really Singing Like a Robin?

The highlight of the morning was a glorious and completely unexpected view of a male Scarlet Tanager perched in the top of a pecan tree flooded in sunlight. A red so clear it looked like glass with light pouring through it, and with the ink-black wings there was no doubt at all what it was – but at the same time, coming from what seemed to be the same place, was the unmistakable song of a Robin.

For a minute or two I couldn’t figure it out. The Tanager was preening, but it even seemed to pause and open its short, sharp bill, lift its head, and the Robin’s lyrical cheer-up - cheerio notes spilled out. Then the Tanager flew, and I saw that, of course, a Robin was perched just below it and to the left in the same tree, still singing.


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