Date: 9/23/18 5:24 am
From: Marlene A Condon via VA-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: Re: [VA-bird] Scarlet Tanager, Botetourt County
Hi Nancy,

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. 
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.

Nancy Young
Botetourt County

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