This bird was busy hunting some big bugs in the buckeye tree, but posed briefly in a slightly open area so I could take his picture.
I feel fortunate to have gotten these photos. Scarlet Tanagers (not members of the tanager family as the name would imply, but instead belong in the cardinal family!) are notorious for “skulking” among the large leaves at the top of tall deciduous trees. They prefer to breed in large tracts of undisturbed forest, where they can escape the nest parasitism of cowbirds. Cowbirds wait until the tanagers have left the nest unoccupied, then pitch out one of the tanager eggs and deposit one of their own. The tanagers can’t tell the difference, and end up raising the interloper at the expense of one of their own young.
Like many of the spring migrants this year, the tanagers are late arriving in Minnesota to set up breeding territories. By mid-summer, they will start moving south again, eventually making their way through Central America to western South America, where they merge with flocks of tropical (real) tanagers.