Summer Tanager at Meadowcreek, Bishop

Observers: Chris and Rosie Howard
Verification: MONO
Remote Name:
Date: 05/21/2007
Time: 04:34 PM -0400


This morning (21 May) we had a female Summer Tanager behind our house, but we weren’t sure which race. The first thing we noticed was a mid-sized bird perched on a bare willow branch 10 feet off the ground. Before holding up the binoculars, we noticed the tail was deep reddish, contrasting with a paler back, reminiscent of the contrasting rufous tail of Ash-throated Flycatcher. The bird had a pale eyering, substantially long, pale bill, no wing-bars (eliminating Western), muddy-reddish upper- and under-tail coverts and upper tail. The undertail was observed but not in ideal light; it looked dark reddish. Otherwise the bird was mustard-yellow, including the remiges (eliminating Scarlet). The auricular was not contrasingly gray and the flanks were not gray, eliminating the much more rare, Hepatic. We felt this bird was a female, because, in our experience, first year males are much more splotchy red, especially in the head; whereas this bird only showed red on the tail area. Every thirty seconds or so the bird flew after an insect, gleaning from mid-air and willows. Not photographed.