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Scarlet Tanager

The Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) is a medium-sized songbird of the Tanager family Thraupidae.

Adult birds have a pale stout pointed bill. Males are bright red with black wings and tail; females are yellowish on the underparts and olive on top, with olive-brown wings and tail. The winter plumage of the adult male is similar to the female however, the wings and tail remain darker.

Their breeding habitat is large forested areas, especially with oaks, across eastern North America. They build a cup nest on a horizontal tree branch.

These birds migrate to northwestern South America. This tanager is an extremely rare vagrant to Western Europe.

These birds are often out of sight, foraging high in trees, sometimes flying out to catch insects in flight. They mainly eat insects and berries.

These birds do best in the forest interior, where they are less exposed to predators and nest parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird. Their numbers are declining in some areas due to forest fragmentation.

Scarlet Tanager


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