Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Year of the Tanager

Manitoba seems to be enjoying the “Year of the Tanager”. We have only one regularly occurring breeding tanager – the Scarlet Tanager – but this year we have been treated to a run of rare tanager sightings. In the spring we enjoyed several Summer Tanagers and Western Tanagers, both of which are rather out of place here. These species have occurred before in the province but the number of rare tanager sightings this year was truly exceptional!

In the last few days another (or possibly one of the bird from spring) Summer Tanager showed up in Winnipeg – in November! With temperatures already below freezing at night, and with the name of “Summer”, this bird seems even more out of place than most other lost tanagers… Today I got a look at this handsome creature! Here are a few shots, showing most of the features (with and without flash). Note also the small amount of yellowish feather of the breast sides in this individual.

Thanks a million Bob and Pat!

And now to reminisce of the spring, here is one of the Western Tanagers that showed up earlier this spring near Balmoral, just north of Winnipeg.
For this one, thanx to Jim and Johanna!

And last, and arguably, most handsome of all, our very own Scarlet Tanager on the breeding grounds in the southeastern part of the province…

What rich colour – what a rich year!


  1. Thanks for the pictures.This is a beautiful bird,albeit more subtle than the others.

  2. Christian--great photos. Interstingly enough, a summer tanager was hanging around a feeder at Lake Manitou (near Watrous, Sk.) for a week or so in late October. Makes you wonder. . . .


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