24 April 2009

Summer Tanager in Western Colorado!

Today, my Ornithology class went out to Highline Lake State Park in Mesa County, Colorado to see what we could find. It was a fairly productive day, with Loggerhead Shrike at the east entrance, Western and Eared Grebes on the lake, and a Long-billed Dowitcher and my FOS Western Kingbirds on the west side. But, as we were leaving the park to head back to town, I spotted an odd, reddish bird flying along the fence. My professor stopped the car and began backing up after I informed him that I thought it was a Tanager, possibly a Summer. Just as I said that, one of the girls said "Is that it?" There on the branch was a Summer Tanager male molting into its first breeding plumage. The bird was amazingly cooperative, allowing amazing views for the group from not very far away (~8 feet). Unfortunately, we had to get back to school, but I managed to coax my dad into returning out there later in order to obtain a record shot. What an incredible bird! It is the first one I have ever seen in Colorado.

No comments:

Post a Comment