Birda Logo
loading...
A photo of a Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra), male
Summer Tanager, Male

Summer Tanager

Piranga rubra

The Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) is a medium-sized songbird of vibrant plumage, belonging to the cardinal family (Cardinalidae). Adult males are resplendent in rose red, while females don a more subdued palette of orangish underparts and olive upperparts, with olive-brown wings and tail.

Identification Tips

To identify the Summer Tanager, look for the stout pointed bill and the striking sexual dimorphism in coloration. Males are entirely rose red, a hue not found in many other birds. Females, on the other hand, are more camouflaged with their olive and orange tones. The species measures approximately 17 cm in length, with a wingspan ranging from 28 to 30 cm.

Habitat

These tanagers favor open wooded areas, particularly those with a generous sprinkling of oak trees. They thrive in the southern reaches of the United States, where the canopy provides both shelter and sustenance.

Distribution

During the breeding season, the Summer Tanager can be found across the southern United States, extending as far north as Iowa. Come winter, they migrate to the warmer climes of Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. They are considered extremely rare visitors to western Europe.

Behaviour

The Summer Tanager is often a hidden gem, foraging high in the treetops and occasionally darting out to snatch insects in mid-flight. They exhibit a preference for bees and wasps, deftly plucking them from the air with remarkable agility.

Song & Calls

The male's song is reminiscent of the American Robin, a series of melodic units delivered in a steady stream. However, the Summer Tanager's song is more monotonous, sometimes comprising just a few units. It is clearer and less nasal than the Scarlet Tanager's. Their call is a sharp, agitated-sounding "pi-tuk" or "pik-i-tuk-i-tuk."

Breeding

Summer Tanagers construct a cup-shaped nest on a horizontal tree branch, where they lay their eggs and raise their young in the seclusion of the leafy canopy.

Similar Species

The Summer Tanager can be confused with the Hepatic Tanager, but the latter can be distinguished by its darker bill.

Diet and Feeding

These birds primarily consume insects, with a particular fondness for bees and wasps. They also partake in berries and are known to enjoy the fruit of the Cymbopetalum mayanum tree during their winter stay in the tropics. They are amenable to visiting bird feeders in residential areas.

Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List classifies the Summer Tanager as Least Concern, indicating a stable population without immediate threats to its survival.

Summer Tanager Sounds

β€Œ
β€Œ
Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Summer Tanagers on Birda

Photos
Sightings

More Cardinals & Allies

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Leonie
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Alice J
Awesome Birding Community
I absolutely love the community aspect of this app. The app is so user friendly and has fun interactive challenges to get you out birding. I’ve tried others but since I’ve started using Birda I’ve not gone back!
SW H
Wonderful App
Birda is my go to app for keeping records of my bird sightings and sessions. It has fantastic information which is great at aiding identification. With all the updates that are coming in the new year, this app is something special.
Patricia L
Very encouraging birding app
Easy to use, fun to see progress and encouraging to receive feedback from other users.
778
Great bird recording
For a while I’ve been trying to find an app to easily record bird lists and day out and struggled to find one that I like. Birda is great for this, straightforward and a great community!
Jane N
A great app
Enjoying it immensely and finding it useful too. Recording the different birds and counting them is showing me how the present climate is affecting them all. I've trebled the numbers by planting native hedging. A great app.
Viperray5
Loving it
I really enjoy being able to interact with other birders on this platform! This seems like a great way to meet other birders and find some new spots.
Nicole
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
Madstherangers
A mordern game changer
Birda is an awesome app, its updated the world of birding to the modern day with a fun and easy to use app. It’s engaging and allows positive interaction with fellow bird lovers!
Nedz53
Really useful
Downloaded to give it a try, everything worked perfectly, recorded my first bird watching walk. Very impressed. Have already recommended to friends!
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
Β© 2024 All rights reserved