Summer Tanager at Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 28, 2016

I had to check out the visiting Summer Tanager mid-morning that was being reported at the Wehr Nature Center. I’m glad I did because the bird put on a great show. The male Summer Tanager ate many bees while I was present along with a few other birders and photographers. It was usually on the lookout for bees while sitting in a tree or at times hung around the beehive present there waiting for bees to come in or out of the hive. It even grabbed a few bees right out of the hole in the hive while I was there. The bird is more of a southern species which the normal range is north to southern Illinois but we do see a couple every year here in Wisconsin. Stunning and colorful bird even on a gray gloomy day! Thanks to Carol for getting the word out. Images were taken on April 28, 2016.

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Summer Tanager

Binomial name: Piranga rubra

Category: Piranga Tanagers and Allies

Size: 7.75” long, 12” wing span

Weight: 1 oz

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Grabbing a bee!

Grabbing a bee!

Got the bee!

Got the bee!

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Just waiting for a bee…

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Back view

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Blue Grosbeak at the Spring Green Preserve August 9, 2014

I made the run up to the Spring Green Preserve-west SNA in Sauk County Wisconsin with hopes to see the beautiful Blue Grosbeak and get a life bird too. This uncommon bird for the state has been reported on and off all summer long at this location. I was not let down as it only took a few minutes to locate this bird by its distinct call. I viewed it multiple times on top of the tall white pines running east. I also viewed the bird from a distance on the short oaks northeast of the Pearl Road dead end. A few other birds to note were Eastern Towhee’s, Indigo Buntings, 1st summer male and female Baltimore Orioles which I thought they were Chats with the early morning sun hitting them had gold color like I never saw before. Images were taken on August 9, 2014.

Blue Grosbeak, male

Blue Grosbeak, male

Blue Grosbeak

Binomial name: Passerina caerulea

Category: Cardinals, Piranga Tanagers and Allies

Size: 6.75” long, 11” wing span

Weight: 0.98 Oz.

Habitat: Open forests and shrub habitats of south North America. These areas can be corridors, hedgerows, old fields, logged areas, power line right-of-ways, some savanna areas, forest edges, pine forests in the south. Blue Grosbeaks typically migrate south into Mexico and Central America and as far south as central Panama. Normal range for this bird is south of Wisconsin.

Diet: Insects, sometimes seeds from grains.

Nesting: Females typically build the nest, the males help on occasion. The nest is cup shaped 2-3” across built with materials such as twigs, bark material, cotton, leaves, rags, snake skin, plant material and newspapers. Nests are usually located in open areas, along roads and woodland edges. 3-5 eggs are laid with incubation of 12-13 days.

Blue Grosbeak, male

Blue Grosbeak, male

Eastern Towhee, female

Eastern Towhee, female

Baltimore Oriole,  1st fall male

Baltimore Oriole, 1st fall male

Baltimore Oriole,  1st fall male

Baltimore Oriole, 1st fall male

Baltimore Oriole,  1st fall female

Baltimore Oriole, 1st fall female

Baltimore Oriole,  1st fall female

Baltimore Oriole, 1st fall female

Downy Woodpecker, male

Downy Woodpecker, male

Downy Woodpecker, male

Downy Woodpecker, male

Downy Woodpecker, male

Downy Woodpecker, male

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanagers have been present recently and I photographed a female at the Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary yesterday. We also had a male this week  in the yard. On the river, this female acted like a flycatcher continually flying out on the river catching flying insects. Obviously that is what they do. A few images of the 2 events plus a couple images from Lake Park Milwaukee last year to the exact date.

Scarlet Tanager - Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager – Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager

Binomial name: Piranga ludoviciana

Category: Kinglets

Size: 7.25” long, 11.5” wing span

Weight: 0.98 Oz.

Scarlet Tanager - Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager – Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager - Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager – Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager - Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager – Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager - Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager – Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager - Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager – Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager - Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager – Female Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary May 13, 2014

Scarlet Tanager - Male Waukesha May 10, 2014

Scarlet Tanager – Male Waukesha May 10, 2014

Scarlet Tanager - Male Waukesha May 10, 2014

Scarlet Tanager – Male Waukesha May 10, 2014

Scarlet Tanager - Male Waukesha May 10, 2014

Scarlet Tanager – Male Waukesha May 10, 2014

Scarlet Tanager - Male Lake Park MKE May 10, 2013

Scarlet Tanager – Male Lake Park MKE May 13, 2013

Scarlet Tanager - Male Lake Park MKE May 10, 2013

Scarlet Tanager – Male Lake Park MKE May 13, 2013

Scarlet Tanager - Male Lake Park MKE May 10, 2013

Scarlet Tanager – Male Lake Park MKE May 13, 2013

Scarlet Tanager - Male Lake Park MKE May 10, 2013

Scarlet Tanager – Male Lake Park MKE May 13, 2013

Scarlet Tanager - Male Lake Park MKE May 10, 2013

Scarlet Tanager – Male Lake Park MKE May 13, 2013

Purple Finches, Northern Cardinals, and Black-capped Chickadees feeding on the natural food supply

Purple Finches, Northern Cardinals, and Black-capped Chickadees feeding on the natural food supply, crab apples for their seeds and white ash seeds in the South Kettle Moraine, Waukesha County, WI. Photographs were taken on March 7, 2014

Purple Finches

Purple Finch - Male

Purple Finch – Male

Purple Finch - Male

Purple Finch – Male

Purple Finch - Female

Purple Finch – Female

Northern Cardinals

Cardinal - Male

Northern Cardinal – Male

Cardinal - Male

Northern Cardinal – Male

Black-capped Chickadees

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee -Hammering on the seed shell!

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee – Holding the seed firm!

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee