Skip to main content
  1. Species/

Piranga olivacea

Common Name: Scarlet Tanager
Piranga olivacea
Piranga olivacea

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cardinalidae
Genus: Piranga
Species: Piranga olivacea

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

Breeding males are bright, scarlet red with black wings and tail. Females and nonbreeding males are a dusty yellow with slightly darker wings.

Adults are 7" long with a 12" wingspan.

Habitat & Range

Scarlet tanagers live in forest canopies.

Their breeding range reaches throughout the northeastern and midwestern United States, and as far south as northern Georgia. They migrate south and live in northeastern South America outside of the breeding season.


Scarlet tanagers primarily feed on insects.

Their song is a hoarse, robin-like whistle or descending “chik-burr.”

Life Cycle

Scarlet tanagers nest in trees, well away from the trunk.

Featured image by Dominic Sherony.


Cardinalis cardinalis
Northern Cardinal
Haemorhous mexicanus
House Finch
Melospiza melodia
Song Sparrow