Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Scarlet Tanager (Tangara éclate)

     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.

30 comments:

  1. At least you've got 3 great pictures of him!
    He is really stunning, we have nothing that would compare to this passerine bird!
    I can't understand people: whether on foot or on bike when they see someone taking photos, they don't think of stopping or slowing down.
    A wonderful post, David!
    Great you've enjoyed my vixen :)
    I will be heart broken to leave her behind next month...
    Muchos abrazos para ti y Miriam :)

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  2. Hello. Great-colored bird. Mighty observation and pictures.

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  3. Hello David, great captures of the beautiful Scarlet Tanager. They do stay high in the treetops near my house, sometimes I see them come down low. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

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  4. Amazing looking bird, shame about the cyclist. Cherry blosson 'viewers' are a menace to bird photographers in Japan as groups of them walk right up to the trees even though I'm obviously pointing a camera at a bird there. At least your cyclist said 'sorry'!

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  5. Hi David.

    This is a beautiful bird.
    Beautiful pictures.

    Groettie from Patricia.

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  6. Great pictures and beautiful colors, David.
    Gr Jan W

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  7. "Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea is by any standards a striking bird"...

    David, I thoroughly agree with you. Such wonderful colour

    All the best Jan

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  8. They are outstanding David, excellent images.

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  9. Wow .... truly one of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen. Intense beautiful colors, this Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea. I'm a little jealous of you David

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  10. Hi David, what a striking beautiful bird, of which you got some super images, shame about the cyclist, take some drawing pins with you next time. Regards John.

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  11. Wow!!! Precioso pájaro, tiene unos colores increíbles. No lo conocía y me ha gustado mucho. Enhorabuena por las fotos David, un fuerte abrazo desde España.

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  12. Dearest David,
    You and Miriam indeed have been very fortunate for observing this Scarlet Tanager!
    Who would think that it shows up in Ontario?
    I've never seen one here in Georgia...
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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  13. Bonjour cher David,

    Simplement fascinant... Un moment magique...
    Très belles photos.

    Bisous ♡

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  14. You captured that delightful encounter beautifully, David. What a stunning bird! I shall be keeping my fingers crossed.

    Love to you both - - - Richard

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  15. Sorry about the cyclist but I guess an apology is as good as it gets! The shots you have though are great and it is a bird of course that I would not know. We will be in the USA for a short visit next month, fist time there, and I am hoping to see birds that are new to me. We will mostly be in towns for the first part but maybe after.....
    Well done getting these shots. Take care Diane

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    1. Hi Diane: Take a little side trip and come north of the border and I will show you some great birds. David

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    2. Would love to do that, but every day of our trip is accounted for I am afraid. Staying with friends in 4 different places and time is limited as we have a garden at home that will be growing like mad with summer! Travel is also not easy for us, my husband has periphal neuropathy and cannot sit with legs bent for more than an hour or so at a time, this means expensive travelling!!!! It would though be great to have come up your way.Thanks for the offer to show me 'your' birds. Diane

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  16. Wow, some tropical colours.
    The two of you were really lucky to see this bird. And we are lucky to see the beautiful shots you took. Very well done.
    Best regards, Corrie

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  17. Wow! What a terrific sighting. Excellent shots too!

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  18. It's certainly a stunning species David. I too would have expected this second year bird to be more wary, and not let you take pictures. It's great when it happens though, even for three shots. Full mqarks for being hot on ther shutter button.

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    1. And kudos to you, Phil, for knowing that it is a second year bird. It's been a long time since you were exposed to these North American species.

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  19. What a colorful beautiful little bird! It´s so awesome to see the birds You have out there :)

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  20. Oh the loveliest pictures ever of this beauty! We've only seen them when we wintered in Arizona a couple of times. My Florida neighbor who is now at her summer home in Illinois called the other day to say she had seen one on her walk there -- a very rare sighting for that area apparently. She was so excited! I don't blame her -- these beauties are enough to delight anyone!!

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  21. What a beautiful bird! those with some red in their plumage and attract me, needless to say this is almost all red!

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  22. Hello David, Amazing that birds can get these outstanding colors. Just wonderful!
    Regards,
    Roos

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  23. Fabulous photos of this very handsome fellow. The colour is amazing.

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  24. David, I am sure you are familiar with that age old British tradition of "Winning Brownie Points". After two weeks in Menorca including disproportinate amounts of time birding as Sue tagged along, a promise to paint the lounge walls a delicate shade of magnolia was a small price to pay. Often such an undertaking might be forgotten, especially after a glass or three of vino tinto, but not on this occasion. Very soon I will have the necessary stamps in my permit and will return to birding with your expert advice on a birder's commitment ringing in my ears.

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    1. I think that on this occasion you have handled everything perfectly!

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  25. What wonderful bird..Lovely pictures.. Cheers..

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