Photo of the Week: Summer Tanager

As you might imagine, a brilliant red bird will catch your eye whether you’re on a trail in the Michigan woods or looking at the crested Northern Cardinal at your bird feeder.

When the bird is a Summer Tanager, a bright red or orange-red bird that typically breeds further south than southeast Michigan, you can imagine the excitement of birders in our area when they learned one had been sighted this spring!

For me, finding the Summer Tanager was challenging.

After two hours of searching a location where it had been sighted earlier in the day, I had pretty much given up finding it.

I took the trail back to my vehicle, only to discover two other birders walking toward me.

After confirming they were also looking for the Summer Tanager, I explained where I looked, and where other people had seen it.

One of the birders took a look at the top of the trees for less than two minutes.

They looked up to the top of a nearby oak tree and said, “Is that it? Or is that a Northern Cardinal?”

I peered through the branches of the oak tree, and quickly took a breath.

“Yes, that’s the Summer Tanager! The silhouette shows it doesn’t have a crest on it’s head and it looks bigger than the Scarlet Tanager.”

How exciting to see it!

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About the Author

Deborah Edwards-Onoro helps small businesses, consultants, nonprofits, and higher ed with creative and distinctive websites. Deborah shares her expertise with web design, user experience, and accessibility on her blog, social media, and at meetup events. As organizer of Refresh Detroit, West Metro Detroit WordPress, and Metro Detroit WordPress, she encourages members to share their knowledge and experiences. In her free time, you'll find her birding, shooting photos, reading, or watching tennis.
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