Summer Tanager Spotted in Northern Michigan

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I was tapping away on my keyboard in my office yesterday and saw the most beautiful bird land on the feeder. I’d never seen one like it, so of course, immediately posted the photo on Facebook for my birder friends to weigh in.

The consensus is that this is a Summer Tanager – a young male – but apparently, it’s very rare for one to be this far north. From what I understand, they don’t generally venture as far north as Michigan. Here’s a bit about them at All About Birds, the website of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Have you seen a Summer Tanager in Michigan? Leave thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this story.

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Summer Tanager in Northern Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Summer Tanager in Northern Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Summer Tanager in Northern Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Summer Tanager in Northern Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Summer Tanager in Northern Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Summer Tanager in Northern Michigan | Jane Boursaw Photo
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12 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t believe you were able to get those shots. I think you should tell one of the birdwatcher societies about your sighting. We have an annual bird count here in different parks I can’t remember offhand if it’s the Audobahn Society?

  2. A summer tanager was in my parents’ yard 15 or so years ago in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They had many birders visit the yard that spring!

    • We have a pair of “Scarlet” Tanagers that come every year. They really like our bird bath along with the Indigo Bunting.

  3. I had one on my feeder the last few days. I looked it up since I hadn’t seen one before. It is definitely a summer tanager and not the scarlet. It is all red.

  4. I photographed a first year male in East Tawas, MI last spring at this time during bird migration. It was attracted to my grape jelly I put out for the Orioles. I was very excited to see one and to photograph it.

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