Whoops, once a week somehow turned into 3+ months. But since I’m sitting around with nothing to do while the Red Sox play, it’s time to get going again on this.
So we have a funky looking bird. Based on the short tail, the streaking on the body, and the oversized head, we can guess that it’s probably a juvenal. The bird appears to have dark wings and looks to have a fairly thick bill. Those two features scream out Scarlet Tanager, which is exactly what it was. My ID was made easier by the bright red daddy coming over to shove food down this one’s throat. I thought I took a picture of that, but apparently not.
Scarlet Tanagers are fairly common spring to fall in Waltham. I find them regularly at Met State, the Paine Estate, and Prospect Hill and have found young ones like this guy at Met State and Prospect Hill. I’m sure they breed at Paine as well, although the one I saw chasing a cowbird this year apparently was just hanging out as a Red-eyed Vireo hopped over and fed the cowbird.