A Sister Site of Northern Michigan Birding.
Michigan Birds Checklist:

Michigan Checklist Report Board NMB Forum Sightings Database

 Scarlet Tanager

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Scarlet Tanager.

Use the links below to view the Scarlet Tanager reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Scarlet Tanager sightings.
Scarlet Tanager Archives Reports
Fall 2003 18
Spring 2003 60
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 13
Summer 2002 22
Spring 2002 157
Winter 01-02 7
Fall 2001 13
Summer 2001 43
Spring 2001 72
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 6
Summer 2000 24
Spring 2000 46
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 4
Spring/Summer 1999 19

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Scarlet Tanager

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Scarlet Tanager
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Scarlet Tanager
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Piranga olivacea (Gmelin)
Scarlet Tanager

Summer resident; rather common in the south, less common in the Upper Peninsula.

First recorded for Michigan by Sager (1839: 414): "Phoenisoma rubra."

SPRING.-Arrival is reported in the southern counties during the first week in May and in the Upper Peninsula in mid-May.

Lower Peninsula.-Swales (1904: 37) recorded arrival in the Detroit area in late April and early May; observers have commonly recorded arrival in the vicinity of Ann Arbor in early May; D. C. Worcester collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) there on May 1, 1896. The species was listed from Berrien County by N. A. Wood (1922: 23-24) on May 6, and it has been noted in Calhoun County by Walkinshaw during the first 2 weeks in May (1930 to 1940). F. W. Rapp (1931: 25-26) saw a Scarlet Tanager near Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, on April 26, 1926; in Hartland Township, Livingston County, R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker saw 20 on May 26, 1935. �G. A. Ammann saw 1 at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, on May 15, 1940. Several specimens (M.C.Z.) were taken at Oden, Emmet County, by William Brewster and Jonathan Dwight between May 16 and 26,1888- the only data from the northern part of the Lower Peninsula.

Upper Peninsula.-Christofferson has usually recorded arrival at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, by mid-May (one on May 11, 1936; 2 on May 19, 2023). Bryens has noted arrival of individuals at McMillan, Luce County, also in mid-May, observing more in the latter part of the month (May 29, 1938, 5 seen). N. A. Wood (1914: 69; 1918: 12) saw a Scarlet Tanager at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, on May 26 and 29, and 1 at Whitefish Lake, Alger County, on May 29. S. S. Gregory, Jr., has 1 he collected in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on May 22, 1932.

SUMMER.-The Scarlet Tanager is found nesting chiefly in June, al- though nests with eggs have been found in late May and occasionally in late July.

Lower Peninsula.-Swales (1904: 37) listed the species as a fairly abundant summer resident in the Detroit area and recorded (1893a; 100) 2 nests there: 1 with 4 eggs, June 5; and 1 with 1 egg (found by J. Claire Wood), June 12. F. W. Rapp (1931: 25-26) discovered nests in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, between May 26, 2023 (nest with 1 egg), and June 17, 2023 (nest with 1 egg). Chaney (1910: 276) listed the species as a common breeder in Mason County, and on North and South Manitou islands, Leelanau County, L. D. Case and A. E. Staebler observed a number of singing males in June, 1940. In Charlevoix (Van Tyne, 1925:623) and Emmet (Widmann, 1902: 235) counties, the species was found to be a common summer resident; and near Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, a nest with 3 young was reported by Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) on August 14.

Upper Peninsula.-T. D. Hinshaw and R. A. MacMullan collected several Scarlet Tanagers (U.M.M.Z.) on Drummond Island, Chippewa County, in late June and July, 1938; and N. A. Wood saw 1 at Whitefish Point in the same county on July 4. Christofferson has observed the species through- out the summer at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, and Leonard Wing (1940:193) saw it in the Superior State Forest, Luce County, on July 3 and 4. In the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, Van Tyne saw and heard a few in late June, 1936, and S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 184), listed the species as an uncommon summer resident there. F. M. Gaige (1914: 87) noted a few Scarlet Tanagers in early July at Brown Lake, Dickinson County, and in Iron County at Golden Lake, John L. George and R. L. Patterson saw 4 or more daily in the summer of 1938. N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary (1906: 118) recorded 2 on July 15, and 1 on July 26 in the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon County, and N. A. Wood collected 2 (U.M.M.Z.) on Isle Royale, June 6, 1930.

FALL.-The Scarlet Tanager leaves the north in late August and early September and the Lower Peninsula in September.

Upper Peninsula.-N. A. Wood secured a single specimen (U.M.M.Z.) from Isle Royale on August 22, 1929; Leonard Wing collected 1 (U.M.M.Z.) at Kenton, Houghton County, on August 24 (not August 23 as given by Wing, 1940: 193). 0. B. Warren recorded 1 at Marquette, on September 11, 2023 (Barrows, 1912: 540) ; near Deer Park, Luce County, R. E. Olsen collected 1 (U.M.M.Z.) on September 1, 1938, and A. D. Tinker secured 1 (U.M.M.Z.) on September 5, 1939. N. A. Wood (1914: 69) saw a Scarlet Tanager at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, on August 6, and A. D. Tinker collected 1 (U.M.M.Z.) there on August 24, 1931. Magee (1926: 163) banded a female and noted a male nearby at Sault Ste Marie, on October 21, 1923. Bryens has usually recorded the species at McMillan, Luce County, until the middle of September; he reported 1 on September 22, 1929, and again 1 on the same date, 1932. Christofferson has also usually observed this tanager at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, until mid- September, and recorded 1 there on September 26, 1939.

Lower Peninsula.-Van Tyne collected a Scarlet Tanager (U.M.M.Z.) at Leland, Leelanau County, on August 26, 1936, the only data from the northern part of this peninsula. Leonard Wing collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) in Van Buren County, on September 16, 1931, and H. B. Sherman took 1 (U.M.M.Z.) in Berrien County, on September 3, 1917. A specimen was secured in Hartland Township, Livingston County, by R. E. Olsen on September 2, 1935, and 1 (U.M.M.Z.) at Portage Lake, Washtenaw County, on September 18, 1933, by N. A. Wood. Swales (1904: 37) believed that most of the Scarlet Tanagers left the Detroit area by the middle of September; he collected 1 (U.M.M.Z.) in Wayne County on September 29, 1907, and J. Claire Wood secured 1 (U.M.M.Z.) there on September 30, 1893. L. W. Campbell (1940: 196) recorded individuals in the Toledo-Erie marsh area until mid-September; September 19 was the average date of departure, taken over a period of 13 years, but in 1937 he recorded 1 there as late as October 14.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

| Checklist Home | View | List All | Log Off |

Be sure to visit these websites for more sighting and banding counts.

Michigan Bird Records Committee Website.
MI HummerNet - WPBO - RRBO - SMRR - Saginaw Bay
Copyright 1998 Gossamer Threads Inc. Database Powered by Gossamer Threads Inc.