Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sweet Song of Summer

The summer serenade has begun in the Ozarks ...

Summer tanagers have returned!

We've heard the fair golden lady's song for several days, and finally she has made her visual debut on the pine branches outside our windows. Her scarlet husband bustles busily about, and I'm wondering about the location of their nest, which must be in progress. We're keeping our eyes open for a cup of dried grasses in a fork of a tree.

Check out this interesting tanager tidbit from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

"The Summer Tanager is considered a bee and wasp specialist. It usually catches a bee in flight and then kills it by beating it against a branch. Before eating the bee, the tanager removes the stinger by rubbing it on a branch."

I admit that I'm not a fan of the big, aggressive red wasps that frequent my area. I won't use toxic sprays to battle them, but I don't mind knowing that the tanagers are gathering them to feed their families ;)

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