Yesterday morning when I opened the blinds a spot of red color grabbed my eye. My first thought was that Mrs. Cardinal was visiting the feeder, but after a closer look I realized it wasn't a cardinal after all.
I'm always on the look-out for new birds in my garden and here one is on a hot August morning . . . A Summer Tanager - This particular tanager is molting according to a photo in my Florida's Fabulous Birds book. I like this book for identifying birds because it's so much easier for me to identify birds based on photos instead of drawings.
These photos were taken through a window so they are a bit blurry unfortunately as she's so pretty. My bird book says they are not that commonly seen in Florida even though they breed here and in other southern states in the summertime...they spend their winters in Central and South America. She is a small bird...somewhat along the size of a sparrow.
Predominantly they eat large numbers of insects which they catch in flight, but here she was nibbling away on a few sunflower seeds. Lucky for me she was perched on the feeder again this morning. Hopefully, she'll be a regular visitor until she heads further south for the winter.
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This Great Crested Flycatcher below was spotted on the same morning, in the same tree as the Summer Tanager above, but he was not nibbling on the seed. His bright yellow stomach caught my eye and at first I thought it was a goldfinch who arrived super early, but he was much larger than the tiny finches. Isn't it amazing how well he blends in with the foliage.
He was busy snatching insects crawling along the branches of this Tabbebuia tree. It looks like he caught me taking his picture in this photo. I could hardly contain my excitement as I photographed him . . . eager to run and get my book to make an I.D. Wow, two new birds both on the same day!
Here's a look at his backside which is mostly gray in color.
Here's another look at him from the rear and the side. He's a medium-sized bird. A Mockingbird chased him away but he soon returned and I could see him flying back and forth between the Tabbebuia and the Crape myrtle.
Here's a nice photo of him. He looks like he's watching an insect in anticipation of scooping it up. He also returned again this morning to the same tree. We watched as he snatched a Cloudless Sulphur caterpillar off the Christmas Senna and landed in the tree with his big fat catch of the day. When he finished eating it he took off after an insect in mid-air swooping and curving around until he landed another morsel for breakfast.
It's always exciting to see a new bird in the garden. Along with these two new birds we also saw two Pileated woodpeckers, Mockingbird, Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal, Titmice, Sparrows and a cute little hummer busily in search of breakfast.