Summer Tanager in Land Park, Sacramento

Andy Engilis

Hi all,  I have not seen the tanager in land park, but I wanted to comment on the bird’s identification.   I looked at Dan Brown’s images, which are quite good and the bird does have molt limits in the wing which would confirm it as a Second Year bird.  It is good to see these molt limits because an adult female Summer Tanager can exhibit the degree of red this bird shows,  and the amounts of red can be quite variable.  Since this is a SY bird, the red feathering does tend towards a male.  It would be incorrect to assume it is a SY male due to some red feathering without confirming age  (which some have so speculated in posts to ebird and CV Birds).  In tanagers,  if one can,  age first using molt limits, then sex identification can be more clearly determined.  Without the age confirmed the sex can be confused.  The molt limits show replaced greater secondary coverts,  which are fresh vs the abraded and worn first generation primary coverts


Based on the size of the bill, the slight crest, and relatively long tail,  this does look like a “Cooper’s” “Western” Summer Tanager.


‘Great job capturing the molt limits on this bird Dan!


Andy Engilis




Andrew Engilis, Jr.


Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology

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