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Scarlet tanagers

Tanager non-breeding male.jpg
Allen Gathem
/
Flickr
A non-breeding, male tanager

The scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea) is a medium-sized American songbird. The species' plumage and vocalizations are similar to other members of the cardinal family, although the Piranga species lacks the thick conical bill (well suited to seed and insect eating) that many cardinals possess. The species resides in thick deciduous woodlands and suburbs.

Females are yellowish on the underparts and olive on top, with yellow-olive-toned wings and tail. The adult male's winter plumage is similar to the female's, but the wings and tail remain darker.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.