The summer tanager (Piranga rubra) is a medium-sized American songbird. Formerly placed in the tanager family (Thraupidae), it and other members of its genus are now classified in the cardinal family (Cardinalidae). The species's plumage and vocalizations are similar to other members of the cardinal family.
Adult males are rose red and similar in appearance to the hepatic tanager, although the latter has a dark bill; females are orangish on the underparts and olive on top, with olive-brown wings and tail. As with all other birds, all red and orange colorations are acquired through their diet.
The summer tanager has an American robin-like song, similar enough that novices sometimes mistake this bird for that species. The song consists of melodic units, repeated in a constant stream. The summer tanager's song, however, is much more monotonous than that of T. migratorius, often consisting of as few as three or four distinct units. It is clearer and less nasal than the song of the scarlet tanager. The summer tanager also has a sharp, agitated-sounded call pi-tuk or pik-i-tuk-i-tuk.