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Transitional tanager

Though scarlet tanagers favor the kind of oak-rich mixed forest that prevails around Farrar Pond, they hang about in treetops and—despite dramatic coloration—are not often seen. This male

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Piranga olivacea

was apparently driven into view by extreme local drought and perhaps itchy feather mites

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(note eye-protecting nictitating membrane here and below), two inconveniences with a common relief: a solar-powered shower bath:

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Many so-called bird-baths are too deep to be useful except for drinking. Most guests at this spa appear to prefer just a fraction of an inch of immersion, perhaps in common with dust baths (which also get much use here in dry weather).

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This does, however, require some contortions

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to get deeper cleansing than the overhead spray produces.

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Changing over to winter plumage in mid-August: a woolly bear warning of chills to come?

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