Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Summer Tanager
 
 

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  Order Passeriformes
   Suborder Passeres - Oscines (Song Birds)
      Parvorder Passerida (Superfamily Passeroidea)
         Nine-primaried Oscines
            Family Thraupidae (Cardinalidae) - Tanagers

  Passerines are generally smaller than non-passerines. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young hatch blind with little or no down and spend 10-15 days or so in the nest - development is rapid and parents provide care beyond fledging.
Oscines are passerines with complex syringeal musculature used to produce varied vocalizations. 
Passeroids include the Nine-primaried Oscines, pipits, Old World sparrows, and weavers.
Nine-primaried Oscines include New World warblers, icterids (New World blackbirds), emberizines (buntings), tanagers, cardinalines (cardinals), and fringillines (finches).
Tanagers are small to medium-sized New World birds with nine-primaries. They are brightly colored and are sexually dimorphic. Their bill is variable - they forage in trees and shrubs, moving slowly as they glean seeds and small fruit as well as insects. Our representatives are arboreal.
     
MORE (Order)      MORE (Family)
     
  Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra
 
 Cornell     USGS     Wiki     EoL
        SUMMER - Common, breeds? / Common
            OPEN, MIXED WOODS, RIPARIAN WOODLAND (tall trees, near water)
Summer Tanager
 
   Male Summer Tanagers are all red and females are greenish to orange. They have a slight crest but no bold markings - no eye rings, wing bars, patches of white, etc. Their bill is long and stout but not conical (and cardinals have a facial patch of black around the bill). The underside of their tail is greenish.
Summer Tanager
   
Summer Tanager male. Fairlawn Plantation

Summer Tanager female. Capn' Sam's Spit, September. © Kiawah Island Bird Banding
   
  RANGE: Summer Tanagers breed from the Delmarva Peninsula west along the Ohio River to Iowa, central Texas and west to southern California. They range south into Mexico and are found along the Gulf Coast to Florida and north up the coast. They winter from central Mexico to Ecuador and Amazonia.
  BREEDING: Monogamous. Their nest is placed on a branch, often in a conifer, and is loosely built of grass, Spanish moss and other plant material and is lined with fine grass. Females lay 4 (3-5) eggs which are incubated for 11-12 days. Young are altricial and are cared for by both parents.
  DIET: Their diet includes insects (especially bees and wasps, beetles, cicadas, caterpillars, bugs, flies, etc.), a few spiders, and some fruit. They may raid paper wasp nests to obtain larvae and adults. They forage mainly in the tops of trees and move deliberately. They may flycatch or hover while feeding.
  VOICE: Their song is robin-like and musical with three-syllable phrases. There are pauses between phrases. Their call - "tea-cup" - is unmistakable.
  NOTES:
   Checklists -
      Seabrook (breeds). Kiawah - uncommon spring through fall (breeds). Edisto - summer.
      Coastal - common summer resident. Hilton Head - fairly common summer resident.
         Cape Romain
- common/common (breeds)/common/absent. Huntington Beach - uncommon April - October.
      CBC Hilton Head 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0.
   Kiawah Island banding - Capn' Sam's spit - 1 Sep 2010; 1 Sep 2012.
   SCBBA: Throughout state.
   Caw Caw - common/common/common/absent. ACE - accidental/accidental (breeds)/uncommon/absent.
   P&G: Common breeder. Maximum: 110, Awendaw/Cape Romain, 27 April 1974. 30 March - 30 October. Casual in winter. Egg dates: 7 May - 16 June.
   Avendex: 12 records - mostly winter sightings reported. Maximum (above).
   Potter: Common summer resident from mid-April to mid-October. Residential districts and open woodland.
  ●  Fairly common. Summer Tanagers are conspicuous summer inhabitants of our Maritime forests. They usually forage relatively high but can often be seen in lower branches. They are likely breeders on Seabrook. Listen for their song. Summer Tanagers may be in more open woods than Scarlet Tanagers.
       
    Banner - Summer Tanager. Fairlawn.
       
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