Documentation of Summer Tanager

Observer Information

Reporter:  Polly Neldner  PO Box 358,   La Veta, CO  81055
Other Observers:  none; Polly Wren Neldner

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Summer Tanager
First Date/Time:  5/26/2011
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  3 minutes
County:  Huerfano
Specific Location:  Lathrop State Park, Martin Lake
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Male
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Riparian, next to lake with cottonwoods, willows etc.

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  8.5 X 42 Swarovski binoculars. Canon 500 mm point and shoot camera
Distance:  35 ft.
Light:  Excellent, clear skies, no wind

Description of the Bird

Bright rosy-red bird, with red lores long yellowish bill. Approximately 7.5-8 inches long
Behaviors: Flew into cottonwood and perched for just a moment...then flew out and on to another perch
Call: None heard...bird was silent
Plumage: Adult

Similar Species Discussion

Eliminated from Hepatic due to bill size and color, general coloring of bird. Hepatic would have darker, smaller bill and would have grayish wash on auriculars, back and flank. This bird was much brighter red overall.
Lacked black wings of Scarlet Tanager.
Lacked prominent crest, conical bill and black mask of Northern Cardinal

Resources Used

Sibley's Guide to Birds, Peterson Field Guide, Stoke's Field Guide

Previous Experience

Have seen Summer Tanagers in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Arizona. Have seen Hepatic Tanagers in Arizona


Notes made DURING observation

Additional Information

Time: 8:34 a.m.
Elevation: 6000+
Other Dates: None at this time
Nearest Town: Walsenburg
Independent Observers: Polly Wren Neldner

Materials Available

Photographer: Polly Wren Neldner

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

5/26/2011 12:58:00 PM
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