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Submitted By

Ava Johnson

Fayetteville, AR, USA


Tanager nest with 3 nestlings. One appears to have a redder gape than the others. There is no obvious size or color difference.


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Species: Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager Nest

The nestling in the front that is stretching its neck up, is it a brown-headed cowbird? It appears to have a redder gape (inside of mouth) than the other nestlings. No obvious size difference. (Sorry for bad photo quality)

3 responses to “Summer Tanager Nest”

  1. Ava Johnson says:

    UPDATE: It is a Brown-Headed Cowbird nestling. It has a red mouth and it begs more aggressively than the other nestlings.

    • Robyn Bailey says:

      I would agree with you. As the chick matures, notice if the area around the eyes remains unfeathered for longer than the other chicks. Like other blackbirds, this is a noticeable feature (i.e., an otherwise feathered chick with a prominent “naked” eye ring).

  2. Ava Johnson says:

    They’ve all fledged now, the Cowbird actually fledged last, much to my surprise.

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