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What are the odds I spotted a Summer Tanager in GA today, Feb 9? 

I live in mixed woods, only opening in canopy is immediately around house. It was definitely not a cardinal but about same size. It was red with a light colored beak (yellow?), NO black mask. Wings had a little gray/black mixed in. It MAY have had an eye ring. 

It stopped by platform feeder with peanut pieces and sunflower kernels hanging from porch for less than 30 seconds around 5pm. Too quick for pic. He ducked below sightline for a moment. Not sure if he ate. Seemed skittish but didn't fly off when a chickadee came by, grab a nut and flew off. He took off right after.

I've only seen a Tanager one other time here (in June). This sighting didn't match location map since it says Tanagers are here during breeding. I'm fairly new to birding, so I'm not sure if the maps are absolute...or if they have an insanely early breeding season.

Can anyone tell me if this is normal behavior or if it's some other possible red bird?

Thanks!

 

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Summer Tanager would be rare but possible. A quick search on eBird for the current year shows 3 recent sightings near Athens one near Albany and one near Savannah.

https://ebird.org/map/sumtan?neg=true&env.minX=-132.83483903984114&env.minY=14.850961446825353&env.maxX=-69.55358903984114&env.maxY=57.83985623231764&zh=true&gp=false&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=cur

 

Edited by HamRHead
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Try to get a picture IF it comes back... It's a bit early for migration for them so it's possible, whatever it is, has wintered nearby. Keep your eye out.
Here in Arkansas(and I assume other parts of the country) summer tanagers sometimes winter... Though I haven't seen them myself, they've wintered at times in NW Arkansas which has to be cooler than any of Georgia. I've heard about at least a couple of tanagers that stayed this winter in different parts of Arkansas... 

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