Summer Tanager at Warnimont Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 26, 2022

A stop at Warnimont Park in Milwaukee provided nice views of a Summer Tanager, an immature male. This bird is out of it’s normal range which is mid Illinois and south. We do get a couple in the state every year. The Summer Tanager fed on gnats along the bluff area back and forth the time I was there. It was my birdie-st day so far this year with very many warbler species. It was a mostly cloudy day with cold temps from the northwest high of around 45 degrees. Images were taken on April 26, 2022.

The Summer Tanager…

The hop…

Summer Tanager at Wehr Nature Center in Franklin Wisconsin on May 15, 2019

My first birding stop this morning was Wehr Nature Center for warblers. I was headed into Milwaukee but felt I had to check this place out first as talk of weather pattern might give us a great day for warblers. The creek areas were very quiet warbler wise. My next stop was over at the center itself to check if anything had come in over night. Upon arriving a stunning 1st year male Summer Tanager was looking right at me near the feeders on a fence. The bird went for a bee at the hives there, perched and ate it. It took another and perched and ate that too. The bird looked a little tired and maybe had flown very many miles recently. On a third try for a bee the tanager came down out of a tree and did a small window crash but never lost flight, never hitting the ground. It was shocking to see this happen. After that it perched fairly high for a couple of minutes and then took off flying west. I remained at the area for another hour and it never returned. Hopefully this beautiful bird will come back for others to see it. A beautiful morning out with full sun, low breeze, very pleasant. I then headed back over to the creek area for warblers and it had become very busy! Images were taken on May 15, 2019.

The first year Summer Tanager, male…

With a bee…


Perched in a nearby tree…

Perched again…


Here with another bee and killing it…

Eating the bee…

Summer Tanager, a female at Wehr Nature Center Milwaukee County Wisconsin May 13, 2019

A rare bird the female Summer Tanager was reported at Wehr Nature Center a few days ago. This morning I made the stop there and after a 30 minute wait the bird showed at the feeder. It took a bee off the hive at the center and flew up into a nearby tree. It killed the bee and ate it. That is one of the things this bird species eats. There were plenty of bees buzzing around the hives there so this bird might hang around longer. A couple of beautiful FOY Indigo Buntings showed up there at the feeder while I was waiting for the tanager to show. It was a beautiful morning, cool but the sun was shinning, something we had not seen in a while. Early temps were about 40. Images were taken on May 13, 2019.

Note:  A rare bird because it is a little out of it’s normal range which is central Illinois and south.

The Summer Tanager, female

Summer Tanager with the bee in the bill…

Summer Tanager with the bee in the bill…getting a better grip…

Squishing the bee…

A nice pose…

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.



Summer Tanager

Binomial name: Piranga rubra

Category: Piranga Tanagers and Allies

Size: 7.75” long, 12” wing span

Weight: 1 oz



Grabbing a bee!

Grabbing a bee!

Got the bee!

Got the bee!






Just waiting for a bee…



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