Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Eric C. Hopps

Date of this Version



“A Late-Season Breeding Record for the Summer Tanager in Nebraska” from Nebraska Bird Review (March 2011) 79(1).


Copyright 2011 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


The breeding range of the Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) is well documented and expands across the southern U.S. extending northward to New Jersey and west along and south of the Great Lakes to the eastern edge of the Great Plains (Terres 1991; Robinson 1996). In Nebraska the species is generally confined to the Lower Missouri and Platte River Valleys where it occurs locally (Sharpe et al. 2001). Because the species exists in relatively low numbers across southeastern Nebraska, there are few breeding and nesting records for the state. Fewer than 10 breeding records, including one historical account have been described for Nebraska (Ducey 1988, Mollhoff 2001, Sharpe et al 2001, Mollhoff 2004). Due to the limited number of documented reports, our understanding of the breeding distribution and nesting ecology of the Summer Tanager in Nebraska is incomplete. Here I describe a late-season breeding effort by the Summer Tanager in southeastern Nebraska and provide comments on nesting behavior.