Documentation of Summer Tanager

Observer Information

Reporter:  Bill Maynard  1390 Farnham Pt. # 205,   COLORADO SPRINGS, CO  80904-5215
Other Observers:  Brandon Percival
Jane Soltz
Kara Lewantowicz; don't remember

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Summer Tanager
First Date/Time:  5/7/2006
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  5 minutes
County:  Prowers
Specific Location:  about 5 miles south of town on US Hwy 287 at the Stoltz residence.
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Female
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


grazed area in drought conditions of short-grass prairie but close to water and trees of house.

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Lecia 10x42 Ultravid binoculars with Leica D-Lux 2 digital camera through scope at 20x on the scope and 3x optical on the camera lens
Distance:  120 feet
Light:  good, light perpendicular to bird while being photographed

Description of the Bird

This bird was a tanager based on structure, bill shape, and bird size.

The bird was a dull greenish yellow with patches of dull rose red on its face. The bill was very heavy, long, and light gray with dull yellow at the tip. wings were gray with only a hint of a wing bar. The head appeared crested. The throat was mustard yellow and the brightest part of the undersides. A light yellowish wash covered the rest of the undersides. Legs were grayish. Tail was dull greenish.
Behaviors: Foraged on the ground near a corral. Perched repeatedly on a metal fence.
Call: non heard
Plumage: althernate

Similar Species Discussion

This was the eastern rubra race of Summer Tanager identified by lack of tail wagging and reddish coloration on its face.

From Northern Hepatic Tanager, Piranga flava dextra by bill color -much lighter on this bird than the darker gray bill of Northern Hepatic Tanager and lack of gray auriculars found in HETA.

From Scarlet Tanager female by light gray wings, unlike black wings of SCTA and by bill length and color, unlike the short darker gray bill of SCTA

From other Piranga Tanagers by the lack of wingbars.

Resources Used

The Sibley Guide to Birds

Previous Experience

Not too much exerience with eastern summer tanager. Quite a bit with the western summer tanager from when I lived in SE AZ. Probably more familiar with Northern, Lowland, and Highland Hepatic Tanagers from AZ, and South America


Notes made AFTER observation

Additional Information

Comments: The two subspecies of Summer Tanager occur in Colorado and observers should be sure to separate the two races.
Time: 0730
Elevation: unknown
Other Dates: found about 4 or 5 days prior to this date
Nearest Town: Lamar
Independent Observers: don't remember

Materials Available

Photographer: bill maynard

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

12/1/2007 11:14:00 PM
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