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Bird of the Week: Scarlet Tanager

This summer resident is hard to miss. The male Scarlet Tanager is bright red with black wings and tail, while females are olive with grayish brown wings. Beginning in late July and early August, the male scarlet tanager will molt his bright plumage and appear with a more drab, female-like appearance and won’t regain his summer colors until March or April. The scarlet tanager sings a raspy, rambling song that is often described as sounding like ‘a robin with a sore throat’. These birds eat mainly insects but will also load up on berries before migrating. Try planting some native bushes, like the serviceberry in your yard to attract these flashy visitors.

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