Saturday, July 2, 2016

Scarlet Tanager




A Scarlet Tanager strikes an impressive pose in the darker reaches of the forest. It's as if he knows he's something special...a stand-out.

Granted, Scarlet Tanagers are not your everyday Wisconsin bird, so he deserves some bragging rights.









Sheltering from the rain, he scans the canopy for something to eat.

He must be cognizant he's vulnerable to predation himself...a bright red bird in the forest has no place to hide.



Food is a priority for all forest dwellers. Scarlet Tanagers eat mostly small insects and invertebrates. Today is this Scarlet Tanager's lucky day.


A well-camouflaged hornworm munches the foliage in the upper left corner of this picture. He is about to become the Scarlet Tanager's next meal.



Somewhat perplexed by the size of this huge meal, he stares at it in understandable amazement.

Too large to be swallowed whole, he first reduces it to a manageable consistency.

Repeatedly pressing it into the branch he's standing on makes, what you might call, a blender-meal.



By late summer, Scarlet Tanagers migrate to South America for the winter. Your best chance to see one yet this year is in larger sections of deciduous forests. They move around in the treetops so you may have some difficulty, although a bright red bird in the forest shouldn't be that hard to spot, even for a casual birder.

Allan
Credits: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds