Scarlet Tanager

Hi there! Confession time: Until recently, I mistakenly thought the most beautiful birds could only be found in the tropics, or at least anywhere BUT the mid-Atlantic U.S. I thought the only wild red bird in the midatlantic was the northern cardinal. While the northern cardinal is an absolutely gorgeous bird, it is quite common. When I found out there is another red bird, the scarlet tanager, I really wanted to find one.

Scarlet Tanager, Wheaton Regional Park

Look at this fella, with his red body, black wings and tail feathers. A few weeks ago, my friend and I were at a local park that was reporting high numbers of warblers. We were on our way back to the parking lot feeling quite satisfied, when a fellow birder pointed out this scarlet tanager high in a tree. What a gift to see this amazing bird!

If you are interested in finding a scarlet tanager, it is helpful to be able to recognize it’s song. They seem to like to hang out on leafy trees, making it difficult to visualize them simply by looking around. But if you HEAR the bird, you can have a better idea where to look. Be patient; it’s worth it!

Here’s a link to All About Birds website to hear the scarlet tanager song:

Scarlet Tanager, Wheaton Regional Park, MD

“…Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

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