Bright and beautiful, Summer Tanagers make their home in Hot Springs Village during the breeding season.
They are medium size, chunky songbirds, with a large bill and robin-like song. The male is the only totally red bird in North America, while the female is mustard colored, and slightly smaller than the male.
You may not see them at your feeders. They prefer to be mid-way or high in the trees, darting through the leafy green, catching insects on the fly.
Summer Tanagers may be tempted with suet or water sources, but they dine primarily on insects: beetles, wasps, dragonflies, grubs, cicadas, grasshoppers, ants, caterpillars, weevils and spiders. They also eat fruits, especially in preparation for the long migration into Mexico, Central and South America.
The North American population, across the southern states, has remained generally stable over the last 20 years, and the oldest recorded Summer Tanager was 7 yrs, 11 months. Suprisingly little is know about their breeding habits.
—Story by Norma Wall