Summer Tanager; Field Notes, June 3, 2014

Summer Tanager, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, June 3, 2014 (photo by Robert Gallucci).

Summer Tanager, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, June 3, 2014 (photo by Robert Gallucci).

First found on Memorial Day, May 26, the immature male Summer Tanager was photographed again today by Rob Gallucci at Lord Stirling Park. There is also a report of the same bird from Sunday, June 1. These reports are all from the same location at the north end of Lenape Meadow. The male has been seen 2-3 times in the past 9 days. A female was seen on May 26. Based on New Jersey Breeding Bird Atlas criteria, this is on the border of the possible/probable category for breeding, leaning ever so slightly towards probable, although much more substantial evidence is required to confirm that possibility.

During the NJ Atlas years of 1993-97, 4 blocks north of the Coastal Plain reported Summer Tanager, with two blocks confirmed in Hunterdon and Essex Counties. A probable was reported from Morris County. A Summer Tanager was observed for two successive summers in the Sourland Mountain region of Hillsborough Township sometime during the years of 1999-2001 (Frank Sencher, Jr.). This represents the only previous report of a Summer Tanager possibly breeding in Somerset County, as far as is known.

Also at Lord Stirling Park, there is the possibility of two Yellow-breasted Chats (Marc Chelemer). One was heard singing, while another silent Chat was viewed.

As a comment to June 1’s post Mike Hiotis discusses the status of Yellow-breasted Chat (YBCH) in the previous century: “YBCH was an annual breeder in Lord Stirling Park circa the 1980′s & 90′s .They were often in the perimeter hedgerows around the west fields. Once those hedgerows were cut back for various reasons the Chats moved elsewhere.I suspect there are some breeding in the massive hedgerows along the Lord Stirling horse farm trails but I have not actively looked for them. They can surely still be within the park boundaries too and this recent find is intriguing.”

From Mike Newlon:
“Today 6/3 at Mountainside Park in Northern Morris County, a Common Raven was being followed by 3 begging but full-sized fledged young. Later, seven Ravens, likely including the first 4, circled overhead.”

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