May 11, 2014

Ant eater

This scarlet tanager was busily eating ants and didn't care who saw him.
He stayed on the ground for at least 10 minutes, in among the wild flowers.
Such an intense colour.

Piranga olivacea
Scarlet Tanagers often play host to eggs of the Brown-headed Cowbird, particularly where the forest habitat has been fragmented. When a pair of tanagers notices a female cowbird approaching, they aggressively drive her away. If they don’t notice, the cowbird gets rid of a tanager egg and replaces it with one of her own. The tanagers apparently can’t tell the difference, either before or after the egg hatches, and they raise the imposter along with the rest of their brood.
The oldest Scarlet Tanager on record was nearly 12 years old.

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