Surely one of the most appealing neotropical migrants to visit our area during the breeding season, the Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea is by any standards a striking bird.
It forages primarily at mid height and only rarely descends to the ground. Miriam and I were very fortunate to encounter this male along the Benjamin Park Trail a couple of days ago. Not only was the bird feeding on the ground, it seemed to ignore our presence and we were able to get off several pictures.
I have no doubt that it would have remained there longer, but a cyclist came along and caused it to fly off. To the credit of the fellow riding the bike he apologized to us for scaring away our bird.
At this time of the year this species is reasonably common, but far from easy to find. Once the trees leaf out it is very difficult to spot as it feeds on insects on the foliage and branches, and it blends in with its surroundings surprisingly well.
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been able to observe this bird in such detail.