Saturday, April 05, 2008

Western Tanager and PS

Photo by Peter Post

Central Park's rare visitor, a Western Tanager, has continued its visit into yesterday, attracting birders from near and far. I haven't heard a report about today, but odds are it's still here. I call it"it" advisedly, since there's a bit of a debate about whether "it" is a male that has not yet attained its adult plumage [which would include some red around the bill and head by now], or a female that would resemble the bird we have been seeing in Central Park [with no visible red color]. Eve Levine introduced another idea: since the Tanager's color is influenced by the food it eats, perhaps some seed or berry or fruit containing red pigment the bird might be eating in its normal habitat is absent here in the East. Thus it could stil be a young male bird.

In any case I thought you'd enjoy the poetic photograph taken by one of Central Park's best regular birders, Peter Post. Peter is the one who first identified the Boreal Owl [rare] that was found a few winters ago roosting near the Tavern on the Green. The little owl was briefly mis-identified as a saw-whet owl.

12:30 p.m.
Just received Jack Meyer's daily bird report. YES, the Tanager can be found again today [4/5] feeding in its usual spot the viburnum near Winterdale Arch