Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet tanager
scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea) female

Scarlet Tanagers are bright red birds with black wings and tails. Females are yellow with darker wings and tails, as are the males after molting. Their bills are thick, and they have pretty short tails.

  • Piranga olivacea
  • Length: 6.3-6.7 in (16-17 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8-1.3 oz (23-38 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.4 in (25-29 cm)


In summer, Scarlet Tanagers breed in eastern forests before migrating to western South America. They can be spotted in southeastern states during their migrations.

Habitat And Diet

Scarlet Tanagers can be hard to spot as they stay high in the forest canopy, but you may see a flash of red as they walk along branches looking for insects. 

Scarlet Tanager Song:


Nests of Scarlet Tanagers are built by females in only around four days from loosely woven twigs, grass, and plant material. The inside is lined with soft grass, pine needles, and other soft material.

They lay around four eggs, which take two weeks to hatch and up to two weeks for the young to fledge.

Attract Scarlet Tanagers

Attract them by planting berry plants such as blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries, juneberries, serviceberries, mulberries, strawberries, and chokeberries.

Fun fact:

Male Scarlet Tanagers have singing battles which sometimes spill over into actual fighting.