Bright red bird specimen

Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)

The Summer Tanager is a medium-sized migratory songbird. Males, like the specimen shown here, are bright red, and females are a bold yellow color. They are most often found in treetops. Their perching talons, found in all songbirds, have three toes in the front and one toe in the rear to allow for easy perching. These birds feed largely on bees and wasps, and on other insects. They are able to catch insects in flight. Tanagers have been observed wiping bees along tree branches to remove stingers before feeding.

Zion National Park, ZION 1823 (male)

Detail of bird claws