Tuesday, May 19, 2009

'Tis the Season

Birds all over the country are well on their way to producung this year's crop of young-uns. This female Summer Tanager was photographed incubating eggs in the Wilderness Preserve, part of the Edge of Appalachia Preserve system. Summer Tanagers, Piranga rubra, specialize in eating bees and wasps, both in the summer and on its wintering grounds in Central and South America. Tanagers catch bees in flight and then kill them by beating them against branches. In order to prevent getting stung, the birds remove the stinger by rubbing it on a branch. Smart bird!