Category Archives: Friends of Miles

Scarlet Tanager: Dr. J. Murray Speirs

Scarlet Tanagers often appear in southern Ontario in mid-May, before the trees are in leaf, when their brilliant plumage causes gasps of wonder in appreciative onlookers.

Scarlet Tanager
Scarlet Tanager (male)

On their breeding grounds, high in the maples in June, they are surprisingly hard to find and are usually located only by song or calls.

Scarlet Tanager (male)

By fall much of their spring finery has been replaced by green and most pass unnoticed, to winter in the tropical forests of South America.

Scarlet Tanager (photo: wikimedia
Scarlet Tanager

Males with their brilliant scarlet or vermilion bodies and contrasting black wings and tail, are easily identified.

Scarlet Tanager (male)

Females have green body plumage with dark brown wings and tail.

Scarlet Tanager (female) photo: National Audubon Society

The song is a hoarse, robin-like carol and the call an emphatic “tip-her”.

Scarlet Tanager

Dr. J. Murray Speirs