Originally Posted by Arthur
As crispycreme suggested I looked up the National Geographic Guide which says for Summer Tanager: "Adult male is rosy red year-round. First-spring males are patchy green-and-red; full adult plumage is acquired by second fall."
Foiled by my own advice! I suppose it would've been beneficial had I read through the descriptions instead of just looking at the pretty pictures.
Still, the Summer does have two plumages, at least according to Canadian ornithologists (those whacky Canuck birders!), so it seems there's a discrepancy. Unless... unless the basic plumage is just a less vibrant shade of red than the alternate.