Costa Rica Photo Gallery

Birds and Wildlife at Rancho Naturalista

January 2009 -- Digiscoped images by Joseph Morlan

Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra rubra)
24 January 2009, Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica This is a migrant and winter visitor to Costa Rica. It breeds primarily in the southern United States and northern Mexico. This all red bird is an adult male. It takes them two years before they get a solid red plumage, but once achieved they keep it year round. Two races are described. This is the smaller, brighter nominate race which breeds in the southeastern U.S. and winters south of Mexico to Middle America and South America. This bird kept to itself. They are said to establish winter territories by singing. Although traditionally considered a member of the Thraupidae, genetic evidence indicates that the genus Piranga belongs in the Cardinalidae. The South American Checklist Committee has already moved it there. The AOU is almost certain to follow suit. The English name will probably remain "Summer Tanager" but there is a proposal to change it to "Summer Piranga." Panasonic DMC-LZ5 / Nikon FieldScope 3 / 30X WA hand-held (no adapter)
Joseph Morlan