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Old Monday 25th April 2005, 16:18   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 486
Originally Posted by weather
This is interesting; I can't find any reference to adult male breeding/non-breeding plumage for the Summer Tanager. Doesn't it have non-breeding plumage? I can find it for the Scarlet in every reference, so if we lean to the side of it being a male, it would most definitely lean to non-breeding male Scarlet. I don't just doesn't fit either. No one said birding was easy right?


I think Nat'l Geo shows both plumages (am at work now, so I don't have the book handy - it may just show juvenile vs. adult, although one might suspect that the plumage of juv & basic adult male is similar). Summer apparently does have both alternate and basic plumage, as discussed here:

Plumages and Molts <-- link here

<snip> Two Molts: The following list applies only to those North American birds found north of Mexico. They have two molts and therefore two plumages a year, both basic and alternate plumages. These birds are: loons; grebes; Northern Gannet; pelicans; cormorants; darters; herons, bitterns and allies; ibises and spoonbills; storks; flamingos; shelducks; true ducks (Anatinae); ptarmigans; New World quail; rails, gallinules and coots; limpkins; cranes; lapwings and plovers; oystercatchers; stilts and avocets; sandpipers, phalaropes and allies; pratincoles; skuas, jaegers, gulls, terns and skimmers; auks, murres and puffins; Eurasian Wryneck; most tyrant flycatchers, including the genus Empidonax [see Pyle (1997) for exceptions]; shrikes; some vireos, including Black-capped Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo and Warbling Vireo [see Pyle (1997) for details]; swallows (probably very limited prealternate molt in most species); nuthatches, except White-breasted Nuthatch; Sedge Wren and Marsh Wren; Old World warblers and gnatcatchers; Old World flycatchers; wagtails and pipits; most wood-warblers [see Pyle (1997) for exceptions]; some tanagers, including Summer Tanager, Scarlet Tanager and Western Tanager; most sparrows and buntings (Emberizidae); most Cardinalidae, including Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Black-headed Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak (first prealternate molt only), Lazuli Bunting, Indigo Bunting, Painted Bunting and Dickcissel; some blackbirds, including Bobolink, and orioles (mainly first prealternate molt); and a very few finches, including goldfinches. Omitted from the above are some passerines whose prealternate molt is so very limited (e.g., a few head feathers) that little or no detectable change by molting occurs. Note: Some birds listed above may have a supplemental plumage that has not been detected. See Pyle (1997) for more information and exceptions to the above. </snip>
(the above is a very good web page on molt and plumages by the way, except don't be confused by the colors used to illustrate the Scarlet Tanager plumage cycle: "Colours are not actual, but represent different feather generations after each molt")

Last edited by crispycreme : Monday 25th April 2005 at 17:18. Reason: clarification
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