I found the Summer Tanager singing this morning at the same time and place
described by Joel Claus below. I recorded the song, and loaded an excerpt
into the Audio Gallery on the MOU web site. In more than an hour of
searching for the bird, which was singing almost constantly in the nearby
tree tops, I was only able to get a brief glimpse of it as it flew out of a
tree. For much of that time, Larry and Yoli Sirvio joined me in the futile
attempt to see the bird. It moved frequently over a pretty wide area. At
10:00, it went silent, and I didn't hear it again before I left at 10:30.
I have to say that if I had just been walking along that trail without prior
knowledge of the Summer Tanager's occurrence there, I might well have
assumed that the song was that of an American Robin. The voices and song
patterns of those two species are very, very similar (but different). And
there's not a lot of difference between Summer and Scarlet Tanager songs.
A tip of the birding cap to Liz Harper for discovering this bird.
From: "Joel Claus" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sunday, July 12, 2009 9:30 PM
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [mou-net] Afton Summer Tanager Refound
> I was able to relocate the first year male Summer Tanager reported by Liz
> Harper about 7:15 this morning. I found the bird singing along the west
> side of the "Africa Loop" of Trailrun race course well north of the
> junction with the "Back40 Loop" and was able to watch it for about five
> minutes before it moved west. It was maybe 75 yards south of where the
> ski trail goes north from the race course at the north west corner of the
> Africa Loop in the link below. Cool looking bird with a rose red head and
> upper breast and yellowish belly. I also counted three singing Henslow's
> sparrows on the walk in from the horse trail gate at the north end of the
> park (take 50th street east of CR21 and watch for the gate on the right).
> Thanks for posting this bird Liz!
> Joel Claus
> Eden Prairie
>> Date: Sun, 28 Jun 2009 18:22:03 -0500
>> From: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: [mou-net] Possible 1st spring Summer Tanager at Afton State Park
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> I was out at Afton State Park today and heard and saw what I believe to
>> be a
>> 1st spring Summer Tanager. Unfortunately, I was out running, not birding.
>> Is there anyone that frequently birds Afton that can check on this?? I
>> following the Afton trail race course (see link below) and the bird was
>> singing away just off of the trail west of where the course rejoins the
>> Africa loop after the Back 40 loop.
>> While you are out there, stop by and see (well, listen to) the Henslow's
>> Sparrows along the top of the Africa loop (usually hear 2-3 calling).
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