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Summer Tanager

Piranga vermillon

Piranga rubra

Birds of North America
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Life, Habitat & Pictures of the Summer Tanager

B L W W W Family Latin Name
7.75" 19.7cm 12" 30.5cm 1oz 28.4g Cardinalidae Piranga rubra

Species: The Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) is seen across the southern regions of the USA. The beautiful male is recognized by its completely red body and is the only bird species in North America, as such. Their diet, like most tanagers, consists of bees and other types of insects and they are sometimes seen at birdfeeders as they are attracted by fruit and/or a fatty suet.

Distinctions: Sexually dimorphic, the male has a completely brilliant red body, retaining its red plumage throughout the entire year. The male tanager has a large yellow bill, perfectly adapted for capturing and eating bees, wasps and hornets. The Summer Tanager has no crest and a brighter red plumage, which distinguishes it from the Northern Cardinal. The female has a light olive-coloured mantle, with a light-coloured yellow breast. As in most cases, the juvenile is similar to the female's plumage in its first year.

Voice: Repeated three to seven notes lyrics, call consists of three notes, easily recognizable once seen and heard.

Nesting: Three to four blueish-green coloured eggs, with brown speckles, one brood per year. Builds its cup-shaped nest in trees in either a deciduous or mixed forest.

  • Breeding
  • Year Around
  • Winter

Summer Tanager range

The Summer Tanager is found throughout wooded areas. It is consistently seen in small numbers, along the southern borders of central Canada and the odd reports in the eastern provinces of Canada, west into the central USA states, a narrow band reaching into California and east to the tip of Florida. This tanager is seen throughout the Caribbean islands and it has been seen as a migrant in Cuba.

Birds of Cuba