And here’s a bit of summer found unexpectedly in winter. Recently I received an e-mail and some photos from Ijams' member Hugh Morgan.
“I have seen this type of bird so many times over the years and have suspected that they are tanagers.
"The bird was here last week and maybe even the week before. I had friends over last Thursday to watch the Army – SMU Football Game. They noticed the bird and commented that it was a pretty goldfinch and we had a friendly discussion about its species.
It was around on and off all day last Friday.
Heather Crawley and I watched the bird for a long time on Saturday January 1, made notes about the birds size, color, etc., and kept looking at various birds in "The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America." She brought her camera over and made the photos on Sunday, January 2 so we could send them to you. The bird was here on Monday, January 3.”
As fate would have it, Sunday, January 2 was the day of the local Christmas Bird Count (CBC) and Hugh lives within the count circle.
Dean Edwards, the count's compiler adds, "That will be the only second record of summer tanager on the Knoxville CBC (the other was in 1969). There were two in the circle in December a few years ago but they disappeared before the count."