CLOSED: Possibly warbler or vireo?

Fayette, IA(Zone 4b)

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.

Thumbnail by MartyJo Thumbnail by MartyJo Thumbnail by MartyJo Thumbnail by MartyJo
(Zone 5a)

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.

Fayette, IA(Zone 4b)

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.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

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


Fayette, IA(Zone 4b)

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!

(Zone 5a)

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.

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.

Fayette, IA(Zone 4b)

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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