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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Scarlet Tanager -- Piranga olivacea


RANGE: Breeds from southern Manitoba, western Ontario, southern Quebec, and New Brunswick south to eastern North Dakota, central Nebraska, southern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, central Arkansas, northern Alabama, and northern Georgia; casually in the West. Winters in South America.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Generally inhabits mature deciduous and mixed deciduous-coniferous woodlands, roadside shade trees, wooded parks, and large shade trees of suburbs. In the Great Plains, primarily inhabits mature hardwood forests of river valleys, hillsides, and valleys.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Mature deciduous or mixed woodlands.

NEST: Builds a shallow, saucer-shaped nest, usually well out on a horizontal limb of a large tree, usually in a leaf cluster or in a position where it is shaded from above.

FOOD: Gleans food from tree tops, shrubs, or the ground. Eats a great variety of insects, slugs, snails, worms, spiders, and millipedes; also some wild fruits.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Johnsgard 1979, Terres 1980, Vickery in Farrand 1983c.


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