Birded around Pope County this week. This morning (Tues) I birded a small patch of woods and prairie about a mile south of Starbuck on the west side of Hwy 29. There were a surprising number of birds for such a small patch but I have a dumb question about a bird I saw there. I was looking for a Rose-breasted Grosbeak I heard singing when I saw a red bird I assumed was a Scarlet Tanager. However, when I got my binocs on it, it was not a Scarlet.
Similar size to Rose-breasted Grosbeak, easy size comparison.
Body Yellow-olive on back and tail.
Long and thick - Tanager type bill
The head was red and red over the neck and starting down the back. Also, red on breast, remniscent of a "red vest".
Yellow under tail coverts.
There was no black on the wings, no wing bars, pretty uniform colors on back, side, and tail.
The bird was feeding in the tall oaks and "loosely" associating with the grosbeak pair.
I observed for a few minutes, then lost it. I spent about 45 minutes looking for it, re-found it and studied it for several minutes. No camera, of course.
Checking Sibley's and Peterson's, I narrowed it down to Summer Tanager (juvenile/transition plumage).
My question is this: Is this even remotely a possibility this early and out here in western MN? Does this description fit something I am overlooking? I am not familiar with this bird, although we have seen adult plumange birds in AZ and TX. I will try to get back there and get a photo if I can re-find it.
If anyone wishes to weigh in on this, I would appreciate it.
Plymouth (and Pope County)
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