Date: 9/23/18 5:24 am From: Marlene A Condon via VA-bird <va-bird...> Subject: Re: [VA-bird] Scarlet Tanager, Botetourt County
Several years ago when we were having a very cold spring and insects were hard to find, a male Scarlet Tanager managed to grab onto my sunflower bits feeder to take the shelled seeds. It did this only during the chilly weather when insects were not active.
This year many of the plants in my yard are finishing their blooming earlier than usual (because they started blooming earlier than usual) and many kinds of insects have been in short supply all summer because they've been impacted by so much rain. Thus, it may be tougher than usual this fall for insect-eating birds to find the insects they need. Do you think this is the case where you are?
Also, I had far fewer successful nestings this year, undoubtedly because of the dearth of insects. I'd be interested in knowing if others had the same experience.
Sincerely, Marlene Western Albemarle County
In a message dated 9/23/2018 12:14:46 AM US Eastern Standard Time, <va-bird...> writes:
I had a surprise yesterday (Saturday). A male Scarlet Tanager was eating
from my seed feeder. He was there for several minutes so I got a pretty good look. I couldn't see the tail but he was yellow-green with black wings. I've not seen one since we moved here three years ago. Has anyone had tanagers eating from feeders?
And Friday I had another surprise. A hawk (probably Sharp-shinned) was on the ground right outside our front window walking among the hostas and shrubs looking for something. He was under the hummer feeder when we first noticed him. Song Sparrows and House Finches and rabbits go in there at times. But it seemed odd in this neighborhood with its manicured lawns and ornamental fruit trees. I think he is the same hawk I've seen flying behind the house. One time he caught some furry critter. Whatever he had was so heavy he stopped for a minute to rest under the Leyland cypress trees behind the houses.