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Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cardinalidae
Genus: Piranga
Species: rubra


This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Chandler, Arizona
Mena, Arkansas
Apopka, Florida
Deland, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Anna, Illinois
Coatesville, Indiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Auburn, Michigan
Columbia, Missouri
Conway, Missouri
New York City, New York (2 reports)
Bayboro, North Carolina
Denton, North Carolina
Hartsville, South Carolina
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas
Leakey, Texas
Lufkin, Texas
Walkerton, Virginia
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Jun 3, 2019, Cat_S from Hohenwald, TN wrote:

These brilliant birds are regular visitors here in Middle Tennessee. Last summer I saw a female Summer Tanager (at least I'm pretty sure it was) picking wasps out of nest. She repeatedly hovered in front of the nest just long enough to grab a wasp, then flew away with it. It was amazing to see.


On May 6, 2019, Amelanchier2 from New York City, NY wrote:

I didn't actually know the name Summer Tanager and thought I was seeing a Scarlet Tanager for a couple of weeks, starting in late April 2019. I was working on reseeding own lawn at the Clinton Community Garden in New York City when I first saw the extraordinary flash of red in a nearby tree. This beautiful bird remained my companion, fluttering down every so often to the grass but never staying long enough for me to get a decent picture. Word got out last weekend, however, and a fleet of birders arrived at our small garden with very big cameras.


On Jan 14, 2013, kgerken68 from Bee Cave, TX wrote:

A female or possibly juvenile summer tanager appeared at our suet feeder in Lakeway, Texas on 1-11-2013. Our local Audubon Society has commented that she should not be here at this time of year. She is at our feeder all day each day so far


On Apr 8, 2010, Suen from Leakey, TX wrote:

The tanager has been coming to my oriole feeder for the
past 2 weeks here at Leakey, TX. I notice it eating the grape jelly and pecking at the sliced orange I have on the feeder.


On Nov 16, 2009, lolalaska from Pensacola, FL wrote:

I am a hobbyist beekeeper in NW Fla. I saw what I thought was a cardinal on a wire over my hives. Nope. This bird is the only solid red bird in N.A. It eats bees! The male I observed would fly to the ground, snatch a bee, toss it against the house (brick) to stun it and remove the stinger, then eat it. I looked it up thru google "What Bird?". Very interesting, don't see him very often, and not enough to hinder my bee population. A beautiful bird.


On Mar 2, 2009, maureeng from Hancock, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

This little guy, obviously lost, spent 3 weeks at our feeder during late April-early May of 2008. We are located at 47 degrees North latitude. Local Audubon said his appearance extremely rare for our area -- Lake Linden, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. We had visitors from 35 miles away come and visit and the weather was very cold.


On Jan 3, 2009, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This bright red bird is fairly common in the pine forests of Wekiva Springs State Park near Apopka, Florida. In summer their call comes from very high in the trees, and he can be found perched on the highest branches. The female is seldom seen because of her coloration.