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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Piranga olivacea
POPULATION: 2.7 million
HABITAT: Breeds in deciduous and mixed deciduous-evergreen forests; winters in forests and forest edges.
In spring plumage, the male Scarlet Tanager’s beauty comes close to rivaling showy tropical birds like the Green-headed Tanager and Gilt-edged Tanager. Unlike these South American residents, the Scarlet Tanager is a migratory bird that travels long distances between breeding and wintering grounds.
The Scarlet Tanager makes the journey between the eastern United States and lowland South American forests twice a year. During migration, the birds fly mostly at night, sometimes with other migratory birds such as the Cerulean Warbler and Wood Thrush.