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more Summer Tanager photos

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  • Glen Tepke
    Here are some photos of the male Summer Tanager that has been hanging around Lake Cleone in MacKerricher State Park, taken last Monday about mid-day (on our
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 10, 2009
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      Here are some photos of the male Summer Tanager that has been hanging
      around Lake Cleone in MacKerricher State Park, taken last Monday about
      mid-day (on our third attempt to see the bird). Thanks to Richard
      Hubacek for his help in finding it.

      http://www.pbase.com/gtepke/summer_tanager_0909

      I had inadvertently bumped the aperture dial on my camera (to f/14!) and
      didn't notice until after the bird disappeared, so the photos didn't
      come out very well. I posted them mainly because I haven't seen any
      discussion of the subspecies of this bird. Based on the lack of
      contrast between the color of the head and neck vs. the upper back, and
      the relatively short bill, it looks like the eastern subspecies (Piranga
      rubra rubra), rather than the western form (P. r. cooperi) that breeds
      in southern California. Compare to this presumed cooperi from Arizona:

      http://www.pbase.com/gtepke/image/117097184

      I read somewhere that most of the Summer Tanagers that are found along
      the California coast in fall and winter, and that are identified to
      subspecies, are rubra. Comments/corrections are welcome.

      Other than this bird, the most noteworthy birds we saw during our
      holiday weekend in the Mendocino area were a Willow Flycatcher in a wash
      above the western part of the beach in Van Damme SP on 9/6, and a large
      (~100) flock of Vaux's Swifts at Lake Cleone on 9/5 that were
      simultaneously hitting the surface of the water to drink. A spectacular
      sight.

      Good birding,

      Glen Tepke
      Oakland
      g.tepke (at) comcast (dot) net
      www.pbase.com/gtepke
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