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Scarlet Tanager

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Cardinalidae
  • Genus: Piranga
  • Species: olivacea
Fun Fact

Despite being extremely brightly colored they are difficult to find because they stay in the upper canopy of trees.

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About Scarlet Tanagers

During the mating season, male scarlet tanagers are bright red with black wings while the females are a yellowish-green color. Males sing to drive off predators while females sing in response to the males song, their songs are also slightly different with the females being smoother.

These birds are migrators in both spring and fall. Male birds arrive to the breeding grounds first in the spring and defend their territories that they use for mating, nesting, and foraging. Males will sometimes battle for the best locations by spreading and drooping their wings while raising their tails. If this isn’t enough, one male will start chasing another until one leaves the area.

Scarlet Tanagers in the Wild


The scarlet tanager inhabits forested areas with a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees throughout eastern North America.


Eastern North America down to western South America


Eat both insects and fruit.

Population Status

Scarlet tanagers are listed as a species of “least concern.”

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