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Bird Identification: CLOSED: Possibly warbler or vireo?

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MartyJo
Fayette, IA
(Zone 4b)

May 25, 2013
5:16 PM

Post #9533892

I friend sent these pictures hoping for an ID. Unfortunately they're quite small and not very sharp. But since you are quite sharp, I'm hoping someone can help. We are in Iowa - it may be migratory, but you can rule out birds that are seen only on the coasts or in the southwest. The orange helps estimate size and may give other clues. The third image is probably the best. I don't see any wing bars, but that may be the fault of the photo.
Thanks!

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Chillybean

Chillybean
Near Central, IA
(Zone 5a)

May 25, 2013
6:11 PM

Post #9533928

My first thought was Oriole, but since it lacks wing bars, it looks like it possibly is a female Scarlet Tanager. The bill looks too big for a warbler or vireo.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Scarlet_Tanager/id
MartyJo
Fayette, IA
(Zone 4b)

May 25, 2013
7:23 PM

Post #9533984

That's a pretty good guess, but from what I can see of the pictures of the female tanager it wouldn't look as solidly gray from the back as the first picture does. I'm leaning toward a female orchard oriole, but she should have thin wingbars. Thanks for answering - nice to hear from another Iowan.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

May 25, 2013
10:44 PM

Post #9534113

Definitely a tanager, but I'm thinking maybe Summer rather than Scarlet, as the bill looks rather large and pale.

Resin
MartyJo
Fayette, IA
(Zone 4b)

May 26, 2013
5:25 AM

Post #9534235

Well, the bill certainly looks right, and the picture in my Stokes looks quite possible for a Summer tanager. But the range maps have it barely into southern Iowa and we're quite far northeast - maybe the south winds have blown it up here?
Thanks for your help!

Chillybean

Chillybean
Near Central, IA
(Zone 5a)

May 26, 2013
12:34 PM

Post #9534709

I just did some searching on the Iowa bird list. There have been sightings of Summer and Western Tanagers throughout the state. There was a sighting of a Summer Tanager in Davenport earlier this month.

I checked Ebird, but no Tanagers are listed for your county. But this may not mean much, it looks to be an area that is not often birded, based on how few birds have been recorded for that county.

When I saw you were from Iowa, I thought I'd give the ID a try. :) Our family is still learning about the birds, so still mess up now and again. We had a fly by Scarlet Tanager recently. but we do not have enough trees for him to stay around.
T_MF

June 11, 2013
6:29 AM

Post #9554668

Summer Tanager females are more uniformly colored (wings are not darker) and typically show a reddish wash to their yellow plumage. Western Tanager females have a back as dark as their wings, wing bars, and would be out-of-range at this location/date.

This is a female Scarlet Tanager. The wings are the darkest part of the plumage.
MartyJo
Fayette, IA
(Zone 4b)

June 12, 2013
6:46 PM

Post #9556869

Thanks so much for all your input - you really didn't have much to work with in the photos, but there seems to be a consensus.

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