Scarlet Tanager populations declined by about 14 percent in the last 50 years, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Pennsylvania’s forests support 9 to 10 percent of the world’s population of scarlet tanagers. As a result, Pennsylvania has high stewardship responsibility for this species. For this reason, it is a high priority conservation species in the Wildlife Action Plan.
Scarlet tanagers favor dry, upland oak woods, especially more mature woods. They also inhabit mixed and coniferous forests and shade plantings in suburbs and parks. Males claim two- to six-acre territories.
Scarlet tanagers leave Pennsylvania in September and early October. They migrate mainly through the Caribbean lowlands of Middle America and spend most of the year east of the Andes in remote forests of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.