Raptor Resource Project Forum

BirdCam Forum => Other Bird Cams and Information => Topic started by: Phyl on July 06, 2021, 12:45:11 AM

Title: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 06, 2021, 12:45:11 AM
Several times a month I'll be posting a profile of a different native bird to The Volunteer State.
Most of the photos will enlarge when clicked upon.
All information is from  Tennessee State Government, wildlife pages.
I hope you find the thread informative and interesting.
Replies are welcomed.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 06, 2021, 12:45:53 AM
Canada Goose
Branta canadensis
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Canada-Goose-2.jpg)

Obsolete English Names: cackling goose, wild goose, Canadian goose, ring-necked goose, tundra goose, white-cheeked goose, honker

The Canada Goose is the only goose that nests in Tennessee.  It is a year round resident of the state and numbers swell in the winter when resident birds are joined by more northerly nesters.
The range of the Canada Goose extends from central Alaska across Canada southward to the central United States, and it winters where there is open water in the lower 48 states.
The Canada Goose was extirpated from Tennessee in the late 19th century, but starting in 1966 TWRA, later assisted by TVA, successfully established a non-migratory resident population.  This reintroduction was so successful that these geese have become a nuisance in a few parks and golf courses.

Description: Males and females are similar in size and appearance. They can be identified by their black heads and necks marked with a contrasting white “chinstrap.” The back is brown, the chest and belly are pale, and the tail is black with a white rump band.

Length: 45"

Wingspan: 60"

Weight: 9.8 lbs.

Voice: The call is a distinct and musical honking. Mated pairs will often honk back and forth in flight.
Habitat: Always found near water, Canada Geese are common in wetlands, city ponds, lakes, lawns, and grassy fields. In winter they often forage on grain in agricultural fields.

Diet: Aquatic vegetation, grasses, grains, insects, mollusks, crustaceans, and occasionally small fish.

Nesting and reproduction: Canada Geese form long-term pair bonds. Nest building in Tennessee begins in late March or early April.

Clutch Size: 4 to 7 eggs, occasionally as many as 10.

Incubation: The female alone incubates for 25 to 30 days while the male guards her and the nest.

Fledging: Young leave the nest within 2 days of hatching and will stay with the parents into the winter months.

Nest: The female selects the nest site and builds the nest of grasses and forbs, and lined with body feathers. It is always placed near water, usually on a slightly elevated site with a fairly unobstructed view.

Status in Tennessee: Canada Geese are fairly common nesters in Middle and East Tennessee and rare in West Tennessee.  In winter they are most numerous in West Tennessee when the Tennessee population is joined by more northerly nesters.
Maximum numbers occur from late November through March, but due to warmer winters fewer Canada Geese winter in Tennessee than in the recent past.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/canada-goose/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580156096502.gif)
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 12, 2021, 01:38:06 AM
Wood Duck
Aix sponsa


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Wood-Duck-7.jpg)
The Wood Duck is the most common nesting duck in Tennessee, and many consider it to be the most beautiful of North America’s waterfowl.  It is found in forested wetlands, riparian habitats, and freshwater marshes.  The Wood Duck is a cavity nester and where cavities are scarce, it readily accepts nest boxes.
This species was nearly hunted to extinction by the early 1900s.  With the protection provided by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, along with recovering populations of beavers creating wetland habitat and the widespread erection of artificial nest boxes, the species has recovered.
The breeding range of the Wood Duck extends from southern Canada, throughout the eastern half of the United States, along the Pacific Coast and scattered locations inland. This duck winters in the southern three-quarters of the breeding range, and in the southwestern United States.

Wood Ducks are uncommon to locally common across the state during the breeding season, with smaller numbers present in the winter.

Description: The male Wood Duck has a brightly patterned iridescent-green and white head, with a long crest, a red bill and eye, a black back, a dark reddish chest, and pale golden sides.

The female is overall gray-brown with a white patch around the eye, and a bushy crest on the head.  From June-September the male is in “eclipse plumage” and resembles the female, but retains the head pattern and has a mostly red bill.

In flight, both the male and female show a green patch (speculum) in the wing and a white belly.
Length: 18.5"
Wingspan: 30"
Weight: 1.3 lbs.

Voice: The upward-slurred flight-call of the female is distinctive. The male’s call is a high, thin, drawn-out jeweep.

Similar Species:

Breeding male Wood Ducks are unmistakable.
Female Hooded Mergansers are similar to female Wood Ducks in shape and are found in similar habitats, but lack white around the eye, and have a white, not green, patch in the wing.
Habitat: Lakes, streams, and swamps with adjacent forest.
Diet: Seeds, acorns, aquatic and terrestrial insects, other invertebrates.

Nesting and reproduction: Wood Ducks nest in natural cavities, often in sycamore and beech trees, or abandoned Pileated Woodpecker holes, and readily accept nest boxes.  In Tennessee, pairs start selecting nest sites in late February and may produce two broods in a year. Nest Box Instructions here.

Clutch Size: Range from10 to15 eggs, with 12 eggs most frequent.

Incubation: The female incubates for 28 to 37 days.

Fledging: The young leave the nest within 2 days of hatching and stay with a female.

Nest: Wood Ducks prefer natural tree cavities, but readily accept artificial nest boxes when cavities are limited  The cavity is lined with wood chips and down.  Most cavities are over or near water but may be up to a mile from wetlands.

Status in Tennessee: The Wood Duck is a locally common breeding species and uncommon wintering duck across the state.  After dramatic declines in the early 1900s, the Tennessee population has been increasing since the early 1960s.  This increase is the result of maturing woodlands across the state and an aggressive nest box programs on public and private lands promoted by TWRA.

Dynamic map of Wood Duck eBird observations in Tennessee

Obsolete English Names: acorn duck, carolina duck, summer duck

Best places to see in Tennessee: Forested wetlands across the state. Nest boxes are provided at most National Wildlife Refuges and TWRA Wildlife Management Areas with suitable habitat.

Fun Facts:
Wood Ducks were nearly hunted to extinction during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Management efforts have been successful and there are now well over a million Wood Ducks in North America.
If nest boxes are placed too close together, several females may lay eggs in the nests of other females. These "dump" nests can have up to 40 eggs.
After hatching, the female stands on the ground and calls to the young. The ducklings jump from the nest tree, from heights up to 290 feet without injury, and follow her to water.

Wood Duck Aix sponsa, Range Map
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/wood-duck/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1778870965.img.gif/1583270025225.gif)
Sources:
Hepp, G. R., and F. C. Bellrose. 1995. Wood Duck (Aix sponsa). The Birds of North America, No. 169 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Sources:
Hepp, G. R., and F. C. Bellrose. 1995. Wood Duck (Aix sponsa). The Birds of North America, No. 169 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 18, 2021, 06:26:54 PM
Mallard,
Anas platyrhynchos


(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/mallard/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_copy_copy.img.jpg/1582128832319.jpg)

The Mallard is the most abundant, widespread, and familiar duck in North America.  The breeding range extends across most of Canada and the northern half of the United States, and it spends the winter where it finds open water in the lower 48 states.

The Mallard is most common in Tennessee during the non-breeding season, especially in West Tennessee, with peak numbers occurring from October through February. It is an uncommon breeding bird across the state.

Hunters routinely refer to male Mallards as greenhead ducks and to females Mallards as suzies.

Description: The male is easily identified with its iridescent green head, bright yellow bill, and curled short central black tail feathers. These curled tail feathers are unique to the male Mallard.

The female is mottled brown overall, with an orange bill marked with black. Both sexes have red-orange legs, a mostly white tail, and a bright blue patch on the rear of the upper-wing that is bordered in white.

Length: 23"
Wingspan: 35"
Weight: 2.4 lbs.

Voice: It's the female that gives the characteristic quack and the familiar descending laughing series of quacks. Males make a softer, rasping rab during courtship.

Similar Species:

American Black Ducks look similar to female Mallards but are darker, have an all-dark tail, and have no white borders to their purplish wing-patch.
Male Northern Shovelers also have a green head, but also have a large broad bill and a white chest.
Other female dabbling ducks look very similar to the female Mallard, but the Mallard is the only one with a blue speculum bordered by white.
Habitat: Ponds, lakes, and open and forested wetlands.

Diet: Insects, aquatic invertebrates, seeds, acorns, aquatic vegetation, grain.

Nesting and reproduction: Pairing among Mallards takes place in the fall, and pairs stay together all winter. Egg laying begins as early as late February and extends through May. The male does not participate in nesting activities after incubation begins.

Clutch Size: Usually 7 to 10 eggs, but occasionally up to 15 eggs.

Incubation: The female alone incubates the eggs for 27 to 28 days

Fledging: The young leave the nest within 2 days of hatching and are able to fly in 8 weeks.

Nest: The female builds a bowl of grasses and other plant material, and lines it with down feathers from her breast. The nest is placed in a fallen log, on a small island in a marsh, or under a dense bush near water.

Status in Tennessee: The Mallard is common in winter (October through February) across the state, especially in Middle and West Tennessee. It breeds in all parts of the state, but is not common in any region.

Dynamic map of Mallard eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/mallard/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_101693684.img.gif/1582128832698.gif)

Fun Facts:

Historically the Mallard was a rare breeding bird in Tennessee. It is thought that the current breeding population is descended from crippled wild ducks, escaped domestic ducks, and ducks stocked by waterfowl enthusiasts and conservation agencies.
The Mallard is the ancestor of nearly all domestic duck breeds (everything except the Muscovy Duck). Many of the domestic breeds look like the wild birds, but usually are larger.
The Mallard is the most abundant and widespread of all waterfowl; every year hunters harvest millions of birds with little effect on the overall population. The greatest threat to mallards is habitat loss.
Mallards hybridize with wild species such as the closely related American Black Duck and even occasionally with Northern Pintails.
The oldest known Mallard in the wild was 27 years 7 months old.
Obsolete English Names: green-head duck, green-headed duck

Best places to see in Tennessee: Most abundant in the state from October through February especially in Middle and West Tennessee.

Can be found at most waterfowl refuges across the state. Hundreds to thousands spend the winter in and around Reelfoot Lake.

For more information:

University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

Sources:
Drilling, N., R. Titman, and F. McKinney. 2002. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). The Birds of North America, No. 658 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 18, 2021, 06:33:42 PM
Wild Turkey
Meleagris gallopavo

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/wild-turkey-004.jpg)

Wild Turkeys are the largest bird nesting in Tennessee.  This large-bodied, big-footed species only flies short distances, but roosts in trees at night. The historic range of Wild Turkey extended from southern Canada throughout the United States to central Mexico. The eastern subspecies occurs in Tennessee.

It was a very important food animal to Native Americans and early settlers, but by the early 1900s over-hunting eliminated this species from most of its range, including much of Tennessee.  Modern wildlife management has reestablished this bird throughout its historic range and into 49 of the 50 United States.

Description: A Wild Turkey is a large, dark ground-dwelling bird.  Males are larger than females.  In late winter and spring when the male is courting females, he has a white forehead, bright blue face, and scarlet neck.  All males and some females have a tuft of modified feathers on the chest called a beard.

Length: Male 46", Female 37"
Wingspan: Male 64", Female 50"
Weight: Male 16.2 lbs., Female 9.2 lbs.

Voice: Male makes a fast descending gobble, gobble, gobble and females make a loud, sharp tuk, similar to a chipmunk.

Similar Species:

Domestic turkeys can look similar but have a white tip to the tail (similar to some of the western U.S. subspecies).

Habitat: Mature woodlands with scattered openings or fields.

Diet: Acorns, nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, buds, fern fronds, salamanders.

Nesting and reproduction: Males begin vying for females starting in late winter or early spring and attract females by gobbling. When the female appears, he puffs up his body feathers, and struts around her with his tail spread and wingtips dragging on the ground.

Dominant males will mate with several females in one season, but the female alone builds the nest and cares for the young.

Clutch Size: Ranges from 7 to 14 eggs with an average of 11 eggs.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 27 to 28 days.

Fledging: The young leave the nest shortly after hatching and follow the female. They begin to fly at 6 to 10 days old. Male young remain with the female until the fall; female young remain with the female until the spring.

Nest: The nest is a simple depression on the ground lined with dead leaves or grass, usually placed at the base of a tree or bush and concealed in thick vegetation.

Status in Tennessee: The Wild Turkey is a common to uncommon permanent resident throughout the state.  By the early 1900's populations had crashed due to unrestricted hunting, land clearing, and the loss of the American Chestnut, which was an important food source.

As a result of reintroduction efforts by TWRA, the Wild Turkey is now found in every county in the state. Winter flocks in Tennessee may exceed 400 individuals.

Keep Wild Turkeys Wild! Find out how you can help.
Wild Turkey Range Map
Dynamic map of Wild Turkey eBird observations in Tennessee

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/wild-turkey/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583197491034.gif)
Fun Facts:

The Wild Turkey is native to North America and is one of only two bird species domesticated in the New World; the other is the Muscovy Duck.
In the early 1500s, European explorers took Wild Turkeys from Mexico for domestication in Europe. When Europeans colonized the Atlantic Coast, they brought these domesticated turkeys with them. The Mexican subspecies has a white tip to the tail and this trait can be used in part to distinguish wild from domestic birds.
The male Wild Turkey provides no parental care. The female alone incubates the eggs. The young follow her immediately after hatching, and quickly learn to catch food for themselves. Several females and their broods may form flocks of 30 or more birds.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Found in every county in the state. Good places to see include Natchez Trace Parkway and the Warner Parks in Nashville.

For more information:

National Wild Turkey Federation


Sources:

Eaton, S. W. 1992. Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo). The Birds of North America, No. 22 (A. Poole, P. Stettenheim, and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.


Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 18, 2021, 06:42:19 PM
HELP KEEP WILD TURKEYS WILD!
Most people enjoy observing wildlife, including wild turkeys, and what better way to see them often than to provide food to attract them to your neighborhood?  While this might seem reasonable, what seems like a harmless (or even helpful) practice is not helpful to the turkeys and usually becomes a problem, and can even become a public safety threat—if not for you, then for a neighbor.
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/wild-turkey/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel_151956290/content/tn_textandimage/image.img.jpg/1583197490467.jpg)

Please Do Not Feed Wild Turkeys
Turkeys are opportunistic foragers with a very generalist diet—there’s not much that they don’t eat.  So, it is extremely rare that they cannot find enough to eat on their own.  Of course, what turkey wouldn’t pass up an easy quick meal from a bird feeder or corn pile?  But such food sources can actually be detrimental to the overall health of a turkey population and can lead to unpleasant outcomes for people in the area.

What’s the Harm in Feeding Turkeys?
Turkeys are supposed to move widely and cover large land areas while foraging throughout the day.  While feeding turkeys in residential areas, whether directly or indirectly, seems like it is helpful, repeatedly congregating turkeys into the same area leads to build-up of droppings and unnaturally increases contact between groups of turkeys.  Such conditions produce the perfect environment for disease outbreaks and the spread of disease through a population. Further, feed that is not cleaned up regularly can spoil and mold, which leads to the production of toxic chemicals extremely harmful when ingested by turkeys.

Another problem with feeding turkeys in residential areas is that as turkeys get accustomed to being fed and seeing people, they habituate to people and lose their natural fear of humans.  For a while, this may seem wonderful because people are able to watch turkey behavior up close, even from the comfort of their own homes at times.  However, having turkeys hanging around neighborhoods eventually leads to issues with turkeys scratching up flower beds, pecking cars, and leaving droppings on drive-ways, sidewalks, yards, and porches.  Turkeys disrupt and block the flow of traffic when they congregate in roadways and intersections.  They have even been known to roost on roofs or pool patio screens.


(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/wild-turkey/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel_151956290/content/tn_textandimage_9058/image.img.jpg/1583197490801.jp)
Turkeys Can Become Aggressive
While much of turkey nuisance behavior is relatively benign, over time turkeys begin to show bold and aggressive behavior towards people—particularly children, women, the elderly and anybody who acts fearful and timid.  These turkeys react to people (and sometimes pets) as they would a rival turkey.  Once this bold behavior is established, it can be very difficult to change. 

The best way to prevent turkeys from becoming too used to people and turning aggressive is simply to not feed them and don’t let them become accustomed to living in and around people.

What Should You Do?
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/wild-turkey/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel_151956290/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image.img.jpg/1583197490638.jpg)
If you encounter wild turkeys that 1) do not move to avoid people, 2) approach people, pets or vehicles, or 3) remain in yards or common areas loafing, TWRA recommends aggressive hazing to frighten turkeys out of these areas.  Actions you can take to frighten turkeys include:

Chasing them (without making physical contact) while doing any of the following:
Waving your arms or clapping your hands and yelling at them
Making loud noises with an air horn or by banging pots and pans together
Waving or swatting at them with a broom
Opening and closing a large umbrella while facing them
Spraying them with a strong jet from a water hose
Allowing a large dog on a leash to run and bark at them

Remember to be bold with offending turkeys:  don’t let them intimidate you.  Turkeys that repeatedly challenge or attack people may ultimately have to be destroyed.  Keep turkeys wild to avoid these consequences.  It is rarely an option to trap and relocate nuisance turkeys that have developed these behaviors.


Wild Turkey Photo Credit Jay Exum
Educate Your Neighbors
Finally, pass this information along:  share these tips with your neighbors and encourage other adults in your neighborhood to follow these suggestions, too.  Your efforts will be futile if neighbors are providing food or shelter for turkeys or neglecting to haze bold and aggressive acting turkeys as well.  It requires the efforts of the entire neighborhood to help keep wild turkeys wild!
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 19, 2021, 12:43:26 PM
Pied-billed Grebe
Podilymbus podiceps
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/pied-billed-grebe/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1583106765310.jpg)

The Pied-billed Grebe is a small, brown diving bird found in both fresh and saltwater habitats.  It has the endearing habit of carrying its newly hatched young on its back.  This grebe is seldom seen in flight and evades predators by either diving or simply sinking out of view.

The Pied-billed Grebe has a wide distribution nesting from central Canada across the United States to Central America, the Caribbean, and large parts of South America.  In winter they retreat to the central and southern United States and southward through the Americas.

The Pied-billed Grebe nests in a few scattered locations across Tennessee, but is most common during the non-breeding season from August through April.

Description: This small brown waterbird has a short neck, large head, and a tufted, whitish rump.  The bill is short and thick, and the eye dark. During the breeding season (February-September) the bill is whitish with a black ring around it, and the throat is black.

Males and females look alike.
Length: 13"
Wingspan: 16"
Weight: 1 lb.

Similar Species:
Other grebes are larger, have thinner bills that do not have a black band in summer, and have white patches in the wing that are visible in flight.
Habitat: Migrant and wintering birds are found on lakes and large ponds with submerged aquatic vegetation.  Most breeding records in Tennessee are from shallow ponds and lakes with areas of open water and emergent aquatic vegetation such as rushes, cattails, and grasses.
Diet: Fish, crustaceans (especially crayfish), and aquatic insects.
Nesting and reproduction: Pied-billed Grebes are known to nest in ponds as small as a half acre. Pairs begin nesting in late March and are strongly territorial.
Clutch Size: 4 to 8 eggs, with an average of 7 eggs.
Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for 23 days. The eggs are usually covered with vegetation when adults are off the nest.
Fledging: Young can leave the nest within one day of hatching, but usually stay on the nest platform. Both parents feed the young and may carry them on their backs, even while swimming underwater.  Soon after hatching the young are able to swim on their own.

Nest: Both parents build the nest, which is a floating mass of vegetation in shallow water anchored to emergent vegetation.

Status in Tennessee: The Pied-billed Grebe is a fairly common migrant and winter resident in large bodies of water throughout the state.  During the summer they are rare, breeding in scattered locations across Tennessee.

Most breeding records are from shallow ponds and lakes with open water and standing rushes, cattails, and grasses. Fall migrants and wintering individuals arrive in August and remain into May.

Dynamic map of Pied-billed Grebe eBird observations in Tennessee

Fun Facts:
The Pied-billed Grebe is rarely seen in flight because it migrates at night. It escapes predators by diving.
Grebes do not have webbed feet like ducks and geese. Instead they have a flap of skin around each toe.
Obsolete English Names: pied-billed dabchick, di-dapper

Pied-billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps. Range Map
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/pied-billed-grebe/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_524295910.img.gif/1583106766697.gif)
Best places to see in Tennessee: Most easily seen during the winter in open bodies of water across the state.




Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 24, 2021, 09:07:02 PM
Pied-billed Grebe
Podilymbus podiceps

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/pied-billed-grebe/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1583106765310.jpg)
Pied-billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps, adult. Photo Credit: Scott Somershoe


The Pied-billed Grebe is a small, brown diving bird found in both fresh and saltwater habitats.  It has the endearing habit of carrying its newly hatched young on its back.  This grebe is seldom seen in flight and evades predators by either diving or simply sinking out of view.

The Pied-billed Grebe has a wide distribution nesting from central Canada across the United States to Central America, the Caribbean, and large parts of South America.  In winter they retreat to the central and southern United States and southward through the Americas.

The Pied-billed Grebe nests in a few scattered locations across Tennessee, but is most common during the non-breeding season from August through April.

Description: This small brown waterbird has a short neck, large head, and a tufted, whitish rump.  The bill is short and thick, and the eye dark. During the breeding season (February-September) the bill is whitish with a black ring around it, and the throat is black.

Males and females look alike.
Length: 13"
Wingspan: 16"
Weight: 1 lb.

Similar Species:
Other grebes are larger, have thinner bills that do not have a black band in summer, and have white patches in the wing that are visible in flight.

Habitat: Migrant and wintering birds are found on lakes and large ponds with submerged aquatic vegetation.  Most breeding records in Tennessee are from shallow ponds and lakes with areas of open water and emergent aquatic vegetation such as rushes, cattails, and grasses.

Diet: Fish, crustaceans (especially crayfish), and aquatic insects.

Nesting and reproduction: Pied-billed Grebes are known to nest in ponds as small as a half acre. Pairs begin nesting in late March and are strongly territorial.

Clutch Size: 4 to 8 eggs, with an average of 7 eggs.

Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for 23 days. The eggs are usually covered with vegetation when adults are off the nest.

Fledging: Young can leave the nest within one day of hatching, but usually stay on the nest platform. Both parents feed the young and may carry them on their backs, even while swimming underwater.  Soon after hatching the young are able to swim on their own.

Nest: Both parents build the nest, which is a floating mass of vegetation in shallow water anchored to emergent vegetation.

Status in Tennessee: The Pied-billed Grebe is a fairly common migrant and winter resident in large bodies of water throughout the state.  During the summer they are rare, breeding in scattered locations across Tennessee.

Most breeding records are from shallow ponds and lakes with open water and standing rushes, cattails, and grasses. Fall migrants and wintering individuals arrive in August and remain into May.

Dynamic map of Pied-billed Grebe eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/pied-billed-grebe/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_524295910.img.gif/1583106766697.gif)
Fun Facts:

The Pied-billed Grebe is rarely seen in flight because it migrates at night. It escapes predators by diving.
Grebes do not have webbed feet like ducks and geese. Instead they have a flap of skin around each toe.
Obsolete English Names: pied-billed dabchick, di-dapper

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Pied-billed-Grebe-2.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Pied-billed-Grebe-nest-8.jpg)

Sources:
Muller, M. J., and R. W. Storer. 1999. Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps). In The Birds of North America, No. 410 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 30, 2021, 02:51:05 AM
Double-crested Cormorant
Phalacrocorax auritus
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/double-crested-cormorant/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1580408167860.jpg)

The Double-crested Cormorant is the most numerous and widespread cormorant in North America and the only one found in large numbers inland.  It nests in scattered colonies with herons and egrets on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the interior of the continent.
The winter range includes the Pacific Coast from Alaska to Mexico, and the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from North Carolina to Belize.  Smaller numbers winter inland along large rivers and lakes near the Mississippi.
While never abundant, this bird disappeared as a nesting species in Tennessee between 1955 and 1992, most likely due to eggshell thinning caused by DDT. It currently breeds in colonies with other herons in scattered locations across the state.

Rangewide Double-crested Cormorant numbers have recovered to such an extent that they are currently being blamed for declines in sport fisheries, devastating fish farms, and denuding nesting sites.

Description: This large, dark waterbird has a long body, and a long neck.  Adults have black plumage, an orange-yellow patch of skin at the base of their slender, hook-tipped bill, and eyes that are brilliant turquoise.  In breeding plumage, adults have two tufts of feathers behind their eyes, hence the name 'double-crested.' First-year birds are pale on the upper breast and darker on the belly.  Double-crested Cormorant characteristically rest in trees or on the shore with wings outstretched.  In flight, they have a pronounced kink in their long necks.
Length: 33"
Wingspan: 52"
Weight: 3.7 lbs.

Similar Species:
Anhingas, rare in West Tennessee, have a longer, thinner neck, a longer, thinner pointed bill, a longer tail, and males have a silver patch in the wing. Anhingas soar on long, broad wings, while cormorants do not soar.
Neotropic Cormorants, very rare in West Tennessee, are smaller and thinner, the tail longer, and the bare skin around the face smaller.
Habitat: Found on open water, reservoirs, larger lakes, and wide stretches of rivers across Tennessee. They nest on islands on some of the larger lakes in Tennessee.

Diet: Primarily fish, but also crawfish and other aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates.

Nesting and reproduction: Double-crested Cormorants first nest when they are 3 years old, and most birds nest in colonies with herons and egrets. Egg laying can begin as early as April and extends into May. Only one brood is raised per year.
Clutch Size: Usually 4 eggs with a range of 2 to 7 eggs.
Incubation: Both adults incubate the eggs for 25 to 29 days
Fledging: The young first fly at 5 to 6 weeks and are independent in about 10



(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/double-crested-cormorant/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1320434763.img.gif/1580408168313.gif)

Fun Facts:
Double-crested Cormorant chicks are often exposed to direct sun. Adults will shade them with their bodies and will bring them water, pouring it from their mouths into those of the chicks.
Captive birds will perch with wings open as if to dry them, even if they have not gotten wet.
Due to significant population increase and range expansion, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published an Environmental Impact Statement on managing Double-crested Cormorant populations in 2003.
Obsolete English Names: water turkey, cormorant, snake bird, shag

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Double-crested-Cormorant-juvenile-2.jpg)
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Double-crested-Cormorant-juvenile-3.jpg)


Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 30, 2021, 02:56:20 AM
Great Blue Heron,
Ardea herodias
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/great-blue-heron/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1582055015496.jpg)
The Great Blue Heron is the largest and most familiar heron in Tennessee.   It is a year round resident and often mistakenly referred to as a “crane”.

The Great Blue Heron is widespread across North America in both saltwater and freshwater habitats from southern Alaska and central Canada southward to northern Central America and the Caribbean.

It spends the winter throughout most of its breeding range, with some individuals migrating to southern Central America and northern South America.

Description: This large, mostly gray heron has long legs, a long “S” shaped neck, and a long yellowish bill. The head is white, aside from a black stripe that extends over the eye forming a plume on the back of the neck. The legs are brownish or greenish with rust colored thighs. In flight the Great Blue Heron typically holds its head in toward its body and looks enormous with its six-foot wingspan.

Both sexes look alike.
Length: 46" (height)
Wingspan: 72"
Weight: 5.3 lbs.

Similar Species:
Sandhill Cranes are larger, are solid gray with a red cap, and fly with their necks extended. They are most often found in large open fields, generally in flocks, rather than as lone individuals like the Great Blue Heron.
Little Blue Herons are much smaller, more slender, are uniformly dark blue-gray, and are uncommon to rare away from the Mississippi River in Tennessee.
Tricolored Herons are smaller and more slender, have a white belly contrasting sharply with a dark chest, and are rare away from the Mississippi River in Tennessee.
Habitat: In Tennessee the Great Blue Heron is found along lakeshores, rivers, ponds, streams, and occasionally grassy fields near water. Nesting colonies are often located on islands or in wooded swamps, locations that discourage predation by snakes and mammals.

Diet: Fish, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small mammals. When foraging they walk slowly, stand and stab prey with a quick lunge of the bill.

Nesting and reproduction: Great Blue Herons begin reoccupying nest sites on warm days as early as January; peak egg laying is about mid-March. Nesting colonies, sometimes numbering several hundred pairs, are typically located near water and may include other species of herons. Individuals usually do not nest until at least 2 years old.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 4 eggs, occasionally up to 7.
Incubation: Both adults incubate the eggs for 28 days.
Fledging: Both parents regurgitate food for the nestlings, which fledge when about 60 days old. The young continue retuning to the nest to be fed by the adults for another few weeks.
Nest: Both adults build the large platform nest of sticks and line it with dry grass, leaves, or smaller twigs. Nests from previous years are often rebuilt. Nest heights range from 10' to 130'.
Status in Tennessee: The Great Blue Heron is a fairly common permanent resident across the state. Colonies may contain other heron species and have a few to several hundred pairs.
Great Blue Herons were listed as In-Need-of-Management from 1976 to 1986, but were removed when the population began to increase. There has been a steady growth in the number of colonies and individuals in the state since the 1980s.

Dynamic map of Great Blue Heron eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/great-blue-heron/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_957445182.img.gif/1582055015867.gif)

Fun Facts:
The Great Blue Heron eats primarily fish, but occasionally forages in fields where it catches voles and mice.
Great Blue Herons have been known to choke to death trying to eat a fish that is too large to swallow.
In recent years Great Blue Herons have found that fish hatcheries are easy places to catch fish, causing great concern among fish farmers. However, a study found that the fish that the herons ate were mostly diseased fish that would have died shortly anyway. Since sick fish spent more time near the surface of the water they are more easily caught by herons.
Obsolete English Names: crane, blue crane

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Great-Blue-Heron-nestlings.jpg)

Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 30, 2021, 08:30:30 PM
Great Egret
Ardea alba
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/great-egret/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1582055016987.jpg)
The Great Egret is the largest of the white herons to occur in Tennessee.   Its name has changed several times in the past 100 years and is playfully called the Great Common American Egret by birdwatchers.   This species is wide-ranging occurring in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.   

The Great Egret can be found along lakes, ponds, and rivers, primarily in West Tennessee, from March through October with a few individuals occasionally spending the winter in the state.

Description: This large, long-necked, long-legged wading bird is pure white with a yellow bill and dark legs and feet. In breeding plumage adults have longish plumes descending from their tails. They typically fly with their neck pulled back in a S-curve.  Males and females look the same.

Length: 39" (height)

Wingspan: 51"

Weight: 1.9 lbs.

Similar Species:

Snowy Egrets are smaller, have a black bill that is yellow only near the eye, and dark legs with yellow feet.
The immature Little Blue Heron (last Little Blue Heron image at link) is also white, but is smaller, has pale greenish legs, and a pale bill with a black tip.
Cattle Egrets can have a yellow bill and black legs during the non-breeding season, but are much shorter and stockier. During the breeding season they have a orange wash over the head, back, and chest. Cattle Egrets are often found foraging in grassy fields and farm fields rather than near water.
Habitat: Lakeshores, large marshes, rivers, ponds, and rarely grassy fields near water.

Diet: Fish, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small mammals.  When foraging they walk slowly, stands and stabs prey with quick lunge of the bill.

Nesting and reproduction: Great Egrets nest in colonies with other herons and egrets, mainly in West Tennessee, but small numbers are found in colonies in Middle and East Tennessee. They begin arriving at nesting colonies in March.

Clutch Size: In Tennessee, clutches of 2 to 5 eggs have been found, with 4 eggs most common.
Incubation: Both adults incubate for 23 to 26 days.
Fledging: The male and female regurgitate food for the young, which are able to climb into tree limbs at 2 to 3 weeks old, and can fly to follow their parents to feed at 6 weeks of age.
Nest: Begun by the male during courtship, the nest is a stick platform placed in trees or shrubs in seasonally or permanently flooded forested wetlands.  Nests from previous years are often rebuilt.  Nest heights range from 8 to 40 feet.

Status in Tennessee: The Great Egret is an uncommon breeding bird and a rare winter visitor to the state.   It nests in scattered colonies with other herons and egrets primarily in West Tennessee, but has been recorded nesting elsewhere in the state.   

The Great Egret is most numerous in Tennessee in late summer when post-breeding migrants from outside the state are present.   

In 1976 the Great Egret was listed as In-Need-of-Management because of declining numbers and threats to wetlands.   Current Breeding Bird Survey results indicate the population may be increasing in the state.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 30, 2021, 08:33:25 PM
  Great Egret, Continued...


https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/great-egret/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582055017357.gif (https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/great-egret/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582055017357.gif)

Fun Facts:

Plume hunters in the late 1800s and early 1900s reduced North American populations by more than 95 percent. After the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918 populations began to recover.
The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society, one of the oldest environmental organizations in North America. The National Audubon Society was founded to protect birds from being killed for their feathers.
Aggression among nestlings is common and large chicks frequently kill their smaller siblings.
The longevity record for a wild Great Egret is nearly 23 years.
Obsolete English Names: American egret, common egret, white egret

Best places to see in Tennessee: Great Egrets can be found statewide around lakes, rivers, farm ponds, streams, and occasionally in pastures, especially in West Tennessee.  Most easily found during August and September.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/great-egret-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/great-egret-003.jpg)
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 30, 2021, 08:38:03 PM
Cattle Egret
Bubulcus ibis

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/cattle-egret/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1580157042906.jpg)

Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, Breeding plumage. Photo Credit: Dave Hawkins
The Cattle Egret is a gregarious small heron more often found in pastures and along roadsides than in wetlands.  It is often seen following cows, horses, and tractors feeding on the insects that they stir up.  Until the late 19th century the Cattle Egret only existed in Africa and Asia.  It apparently naturally arrived in northeastern South America in the 1880s and established a breeding population.

This population rapidly expanded reaching Florida in the early 1940s and Tennessee in 1961.  In the next 50 years it became one of the most abundant of the North American herons, and is now found from Alaska to Newfoundland and has bred in nearly every state.

During the winter it migrates to the southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Florida, and southward into Latin America.

Description: The Cattle Egret is all white during the non-breeding season, and is washed with orange-buff on the top of the head, chest, and back during the breeding season (March-July).  Also during the breeding season, the yellow eyes and bill, and the black legs change to bright pink.  The Cattle Egret has a rather short, thick neck and often sits in a hunched posture.

Both the male and female look the same.

Length: 20" (height)
Wingspan: 36"
Weight: 12 oz
Similar Species:

Snowy Egrets are slimmer, have a black bill with yellow near the eye, and black legs with yellow feet.
The immature Little Blue Heron is white but has pale greenish legs, and a pale bill with a black tip.
Great Egrets are much larger, with a longer neck, yellow bill, and black legs and feet.
Habitat: Forages in many habitats including lawns, fields, roadsides, ponds, and pastures, often in association with grazing animals

Diet: Grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, flies, frogs, and moths.

Nesting and reproduction: Breeds in colonies with other herons on islands, isolated woods, and swamps.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 4 eggs, but occasionally as many as 5 eggs.

Incubation: Both parents incubate for 22 to 26 days

Fledging: Both adults regurgitate food for the young who start climbing around the nest after 3 weeks and are independent of parents by about 6.5 weeks.

Nest: The male brings nest material to the female, who builds a bulky platform of sticks and leaves, usually built over water, in willows or dense shrubs.

Status in Tennessee: The first record of a Cattle Egret in Tennessee was in 1961 in Anderson County.  The first nesting record was of 8 nests in a mix-species heron colony in Dyersburg in 1964.  Currently it is a fairly common summer resident in West Tennessee and rare in Middle and East Tennessee.

Cattle Egrets arrive in the state in early April and depart by November.  The number of breeding individuals and the number of colonies they nest in has varied, but there continues to be an overall increasing trend.  Cattle Egrets may compete with native species for nest sites in some areas, but in general, their impact on native species is considered minimal.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 30, 2021, 08:41:57 PM
Cattle Egret, continued


Dynamic map of Cattle Egret eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/cattle-egret/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1026245159.img.gif/1580157043757.gif)

Fun Facts:

The Cattle Egret is native to Africa and Asia, and only reached the Americas in the late 19th century. It was first found in northeastern South America in 1877, and reached the United States in 1941, nesting for the first time in 1953. It is now one of the most abundant herons in North American.
As they do in Africa, Cattle Egrets often follow large animals (or farming equipment) to catch the insects they stir up. They have even been observed along the side the runways of airports waiting for airplanes to pass and blow insects out of the grass. Cattle Egrets are also attracted to smoke and come from long distances to catch insects trying to escape the fire.
It has been estimated that Cattle Egrets are able to gather 50% more food and use only two-thirds as much energy when they feed in association with livestock as opposed to feeding alone.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Cattle-Egret-with-cattle.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Cattle-Egret-breeding-plumage-3.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Cattle-Egret-adult.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Cattle-Egret-adult-2.jpg)
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 31, 2021, 02:33:27 AM
Green Heron,
Butorides virescens

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/green-heron/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1582055312224.jpg)

he Green Heron is the most widely distributed and probably the most abundant wading bird in Tennessee.  It is a small, stocky, dark-colored heron found foraging along streams, and shorelines of ponds and lakes.  It can be difficult to spot because it stands motionless, body lowered and stretched out horizontally, waiting for small fish to approach within striking range. 

It occupies freshwater habitats from southern Canada through Central America, avoiding the higher and drier areas of the continent, and winters in the southeastern United States, Central, and northern South America.

Description: The overall impression is that this is a small dark heron. In good light, it is possible to see that adults have a dark cap on the head, a dark iridescent, greenish-blue back, and a dark, rust-colored neck. The legs are yellowish, the bill is long dark and pointed, and the neck is often kept pulled in tight to the body giving the bird a stocky appearance.

Juvenile birds (July-March) are brownish overall with a dark cap and a brown-and-white streaked neck.

Males and females look similar but females are slightly smaller and duller.

Length: 18" (height)
Wingspan: 26"
Weight: 7 oz
Voice: Call is a bold, loud single skeow, often given in flight.

Similar Species:

American Bitterns are much larger, a more golden brown and lack the dark cap.
Least Bitterns are smaller, slimmer, have a large pale patch in the wing, are pale below, and are rarely seen away from thick marsh (cattails) habitat.
Immature Black-crowned night-herons and Yellow-crowned Night-herons are larger and more robust with thicker bills.
Habitat: Streams, ponds, small lakes, and large reservoirs.

Diet: Small fish, invertebrates, insects, frogs, and other small animals.

Nesting and reproduction: Unlike most herons, the Green Heron is typically a solitary nester or nests in small, loose colonies of less than 10 nests.

Clutch Size: 4 to 5 eggs are most common in Tennessee, with a range of 3 to 6 eggs.

Incubation: Both parents incubate for about 21 days

Fledging: Both parents regurgitate food for the young who are able to climb into tree limbs at about 10 days and start to fly at about 21 days. The parents continue to feed the young until they fledge after about 30 to 35 days.

Nest: The male starts the nest, bringing long, thin sticks to the female who finishes the nest.  The nest is a thin platform placed in small trees or shrubs, usually near or over water and may be reused in subsequent years. Nest heights in Tennessee have ranged from 3 to 40 feet above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: Green Herons are a fairly common summer resident across the state at lower elevations. They usually arrive by late March or early April and depart by early November.  According to Breeding Bird Survey data, their numbers appear to be declining.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 31, 2021, 02:39:42 AM
Green Heron, continued...

Dynamic map of Green Heron eBird observations in Tennessee
https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/green-heron/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_734709363.img.gif/1582055313013.gif

Fun Facts:

The Green Heron is one of the few birds known to use tools. They attract prey with bait (feathers, small sticks, or insects) that they drop into the water and grab the small fish that are attracted.
Obsolete English Names: fly-up-the-creek, little green heron, eastern green heron, poke, shite-poke, Indian hen


Best places to see in Tennessee: This species may be found at the edges of many lakes, ponds, reservoirs, and streams in any county of the state, between late March and early November.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Green-Heron-immature-6.jpg)
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Green-Heron.jpg)

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on July 31, 2021, 02:41:29 AM
Green Heron, continued...

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Green-Heron-immature-5.jpg)


Sources:
Davis, W. E., Jr., and J. A. Kushlan. 1994. Green Heron (Butorides virescens). The Birds of North America, No. 129 (A. Poole, and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 01, 2021, 06:58:38 PM
Black-crowned Night Heron
Nycticorax nycticorax
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/black-crowned-night-heron/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1579292862238.jpg)
The short neck of the Black-crowned Night-Heron is usually tucked in, giving the bird a stocky appearance.  This heron is not as frequently seen as other herons because, as the name implies, it is most active at dusk and at night, feeding in the same areas that other heron species frequent during the day.

This is the most widespread heron in the world, breeding across most of the United States, including Hawaii, and on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.  In winter, in North America, northern breeding birds migrate to the southern United States and southward.

The Black-crowned Night-Heron is a fairly common nesting species in East and Middle Tennessee, and rare in the West.

Description: This medium-sized, short-necked, stocky heron is black on the top of the head and back, has gray wings, a white belly, and a thick black bill as an adult.

Immature birds (July-January) are brown with white spots on the wings, broad, indistinct streaks on the underparts, and a mostly yellow bill.  Full adult plumage is not acquired until the second spring.

Males and females look similar but the female is slightly smaller.
Length: 25" (height)
Wingspan: 44"
Weight: 1.9 lbs.

Similar Species:
Immature Yellow-crowned Night-Herons look similar to immature Black-crown Night-Herons but have an all-black bill, smaller wing spots, and longer legs.
American Bitterns are brown-streaked, but lack white spots on the wings.
Habitat: In Tennessee, Black-crowned Night-Herons are found in wooded swamps and around lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.
Diet: Aquatic invertebrates, fish, amphibians, lizards, snakes, rodents, bird eggs.
Nesting and reproduction: Black-crowned Night-Herons typically begin nesting before all other herons except Great Blue Herons, returning to colony sites in late winter.
Clutch Size: Range from 1 to 5 eggs, with 3 to 5 most common.
Incubation: Both parents incubate for 24 to 26 days.
Fledging: Both males and females feed the young regurgitated food. At the age of 4 weeks, the young climb on branches around the nest, and begin to fly at about 5 weeks. The young will follow the adults to foraging areas and beg for food for another few weeks.

Nest: The male brings sticks to the female who builds a platform nest among tree branches. They will frequently refurbish old nests.

Status in Tennessee: In East and Middle Tennessee, the Black-crowned Night-Heron is a fairly common summer breeder. In West Tennessee, they nest in a few scattered colonies. The Black-crowned Night-Heron is an uncommon but regular wintering bird in Tennessee and is usually found near nesting colonies.

In West Tennessee, it nests in colonies with large numbers of other herons and egrets. In Middle and East Tennessee, colonies often contain only Black-crowned Night-Herons. Colonies are usually in wooded swamps or upland woodland within 10 miles of a river or lake.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 01, 2021, 07:02:34 PM
Black Crowned Night Heron, continued

Fun Facts:

Young Black-crowned Night-Herons, like many species of heron, often disgorge their stomach contents when disturbed. This habit makes it easy to study its diet.
Obsolete English Names: American night heron, Qua-bird

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Black-crowned-Night-Heron-immature.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Black-crowned-Night-Heron-immature-3.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Black-crowned-Night-Heron.jpg)

Black-crowned Night-Heron, Range Map
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/black-crowned-night-heron/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_425254029.img.gif/1579292862699.gif)

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 01, 2021, 07:03:06 PM
Black Crowned Night Heron, continued

Best places to see in Tennessee: Not as easily seen as most herons because it is most active at dusk and at night. One regular place to find this bird is on Drakes Creek on Old Hickory Lake.

Sources:
Davis, W. E., Jr. 1993. Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax). The Birds of North America, No. 74 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Lani on August 02, 2021, 03:10:53 PM

Phyliz, thank you for starting this thread.
I've enjoyed reading it, beautiful birds.
The egret has always been one of my favorites to follow.
There use to be a cam on a nest that one time Beaker "Iceline or D7Birder" followed.
He posted fantastic photos and a few feeding time videos.
YIKES, don't get in the way of a baby's beak at meal time!  ;D
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 03, 2021, 09:06:31 AM
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Nyctanassa violacea
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/yellow-crowned-night-heron/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1583271589548.jpg)

As the name implies, Yellow-crowned Night-Herons are most active at dusk, dawn and during the night, feeding in the same areas that other heron species forage in during the day.  While some birds breed on coastal islands along the Atlantic coast, this species primarily inhabits forested wetlands, and swamps in the southeastern United States, and through most of Central America and northern South America. They winter along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and southward.

They are present in Tennessee from late March through October, breeding in scattered locations across the state, but mostly in the forested wetlands of West Tennessee.

Description: The adults of this rather stocky heron have a black head with a white cheek patch, and yellowish stripe on the top of the head. The bill is thick and black, the eyes are red, and the body is gray.  Immature birds are brown with tiny white spots on wings, narrow, indistinct streaks on their underparts and have a black bill. They will keep this plumage for their first year.

Males and females look similar.
Length: 24" (height)
Wingspan: 44"
Weight: 1.5 lbs.

Similar Species:

Immature Black-crowned night-herons have partly yellow bills, larger wing spots, and shorter legs.
American Bitterns are brown streaked, but lack white spots on the wings.
Habitat: Various wetland habitats, including, swamps, marshes, ponds, and slow moving wooded streams.

Diet: Crustaceans, especially crayfish, aquatic invertebrates, fish, and insects

Nesting and reproduction: Unlike most herons, Yellow-crowned Night-Herons will nest singly or in small colonies. They begin nesting before most herons and start egg laying by the end of March.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 to 5 eggs, occasionally up to 8.

Incubation: Both parents incubate for 21 to 25 days.

Fledging: Both male and female feed young regurgitated food. At the age of 4 weeks, the young climb on branches around the nest, and begin to fly at about 5 weeks. The young will return to the nest for another 3 weeks to roost and be fed by adults.

Nest: Both members of the pair build a substantial platform-nest of sticks, often lined with grass or leaves, in tall trees. Nests from previous years are often refurbished and nest heights in Tennessee range from 15 to 75 feet above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron is a rare to uncommon summer resident in Middle and East Tennessee and fairly common in forested wetlands of West Tennessee. They arrive in March and depart in October. The population appears to be increasing based on Breeding Bird Survey results.

Dynamic map of Yellow-crowned Night Heron eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/yellow-crowned-night-heron/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1892587301.img.gif/1583271584604.gif)
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 03, 2021, 09:10:13 AM
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron,  continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Yellow-crowned-Night-Heron-juvenile.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Yellow-crowned-Night-Heron-2.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Yellow-crowned-Night-Heron-5.jpg)

Fun Facts:

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron occasionally prey on small turtles. Their stomach secretes an acid capable of dissolving the shells.
Unlike other night-herons, Yellow-crowned Night-Herons are sometimes active during the day as well as at night.
Obsolete English Names: Bancroft night heron

Best places to see in Tennessee: Reelfoot Lake, Discovery Center in Murfreesboro

Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Watts, B. D. 1995. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea). The Birds of North America, No. 161 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 03, 2021, 09:16:10 AM
Black Vulture
Coragyps atratus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/black-vulture/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1580153624471.jpg)
There are two common species of vulture in Tennessee; the Black Vulture and the Turkey Vulture. The Black Vulture is more gregarious and easily distinguished in flight by its flatter flight profile, more frequent and rapid flapping, and large white patches at the tips of the wings.

They feed almost exclusively on carrion, such as road-killed animals, and spend much of the day in flight searching for carcasses. At night they form large communal roosts, often with Turkey Vultures.  Black Vultures are non-migratory and breed in eastern North America from southern New York, throughout the southeast, and into all of Central and South America.

Description: This large black soaring bird has broad wings held nearly flat in flight. Wings have large white patches at tips, the tail is short and square, and the feet extend to edge of tail. Frequently flaps while soaring. Head is dark gray, unfeathered, and wrinkled. Legs are pale gray. Sexes are similar.
Length: 25"
Wingspan: 59"
Weight: 4.4 lbs.

Similar Species:

Turkey Vulture has silvery feathers along the trailing half of the wing. They hold their wings in a "V" when soaring, flap slowly and infrequently, and appear to wobble or teeter-totter back and forth. The wings and tail are longer, the head (in adults) is red.
Habitat: Nest and roost sites are most often in dense woodlands, but birds generally forage in open habitats. Large roosts often form on communications towers. A lower food supply and available nesting sites may explain why they are less common in agricultural West Tennessee.

Diet: Carrion, preferring large carcasses over small ones in open areas. Infrequently kills live animals, such as nestling herons, and rarely, newborn calves and baby turtles. Adults feed nestlings regurgitated flesh.

Nesting and reproduction: Black Vultures are monogamous and maintain long-term pair bonds. They begin perching near nest sites in early to mid-February with egg laying from late February through late May, peaking in March.

Clutch Size: Usually 2 eggs, occasionally 1 or 3.

Incubation: Both parents incubate for 37 to 48 days.

Fledging: Young first wander from the nest site after 2 months and begin to fly at 2.5 months. Fledglings may be fed by their parents for up to 8 months.

Nest: The nest us typically in a dark recess such as a cave, hollow tree, under rock ledge, deer stand, or abandoned building. No nest structure is built. Pairs will continue to use a nest site for many years as long as breeding is successful.

Status in Tennessee: The Black Vulture is a fairly common permanent resident at low elevations across Tennessee. In winter somewhat more common in Middle and West Tennessee, than East Tennessee. Winter roosts can consist of more than 100 individuals. Breeding Bird Survey data show a great increase in population in Tennessee over the last 20 years.

Dynamic map of Black Vulture eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/black-vulture/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580153625082.gif)

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 03, 2021, 09:19:22 AM
Black Vulture, continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/black-vulture-004.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/black-vulture-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/black-vulture-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/black-vulture-007.jpg)

Fun Facts:

New World vultures are more closely related to storks than to members of the hawk family.
Unlike Turkey Vultures, Black Vultures lack a highly developed sense of smell and so cannot find carrion by scent alone. However, they exploit the superior food-finding skills of Turkey Vultures by following them to carcasses and then displacing them from the food.
A lone bird is no match for the slightly larger Turkey Vulture. But they are commonly found in flocks, which can easily drive away the more solitary Turkey Vulture.
Both Black and Turkey Vultures practice "urohydrosis", which is the practice of squirting liquid excrement onto their legs, which cools the legs when the liquid evaporates.
Both Black and Turkey Vultures have naked heads and necks, which prevents feathers from becoming fouled when they stick them into rotting carcasses.
Cathartid vultures can rapidly ingest large quantities of food and then go several days without eating.
Obsolete English Names: carrion crow, turkey buzzard, buzzard

Best places to see in Tennessee: Black Vulture can be found statewide, year round. They are often seen roosting on communication towers or feeding on road-killed animals on the side of the road.

Sources:

Buckley, Neil J. 1999. Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Sibley, D. A. 2001. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 03, 2021, 11:45:19 AM
I hope everyone is enjoying this thread and finding a useful source of information on the varied avian life in Tennesse.
Thanks Lani. So glad you enjoy the topic.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Linda M on August 03, 2021, 03:56:20 PM
It is a great thread; thank you for taking the time to do it.  Also loving your bluebirds!!!
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 03, 2021, 06:34:02 PM
Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/turkey-vulture/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1583196296086.jpg)

Turkey Vultures are the most widely distributed vulture in the New World and somewhat more numerous than Black Vultures in Tennessee.

Turkey Vultures can be easily identified because they hold their wings in a shallow "V" and rarely flap. Turkey Vultures have a highly developed sense of smell that helps them locate carrion, the dead animals that they feed on, and will spend much of the day soaring in search of carcasses.  Turkey Vultures often feed on road-killed animals making them vulnerable to collisions with vehicles.

Turkey Vultures breed from southern Canada to southernmost South America and the Caribbean. This species is partially migratory with more northerly nesting birds wintering in the southeastern United States and throughout Central and South America.

Description: This large black soaring bird has a small, red, unfeathered head, long wings, and a long tail. They hold their wings in a "V" when soaring, flap slowly and infrequently, and appear to wobble or teeter-totter back and forth.

The flight feathers are silvery-gray underneath, contrasting with the darker wing linings. Immature Turkey Vultures (July-November) have black heads. Males and females look similar, with the female being slightly larger.

Length: 26"
Wingspan: 67"
Weight: 4 lbs.

Similar Species:

Black Vulture has white patch only at end of wings, has shorter wings and tail, and a black head. When soaring, wings are held flat, and it flaps much more frequently and with more rapid flaps.
Habitat: Prefers rangeland and areas of mixed farmland and forest. Roosts are in large trees, on large urban buildings, and communication towers.

Diet: Turkey Vultures eat a wide variety of carrion, from small mammals to dead cows and road-killed animals. They also eat some insects, other invertebrates, and some fruit. Turkey Vultures can rapidly ingest large quantities of food and then go several days without eating.
Habitat: Prefers rangeland and areas of mixed farmland and forest. Roosts are in large trees, on large urban buildings, and communication towers.

Diet: Turkey Vultures eat a wide variety of carrion, from small mammals to dead cows and road-killed animals. They also eat some insects, other invertebrates, and some fruit. Turkey Vultures can rapidly ingest large quantities of food and then go several days without eating.
Nesting and reproduction: Turkey Vultures are monogamous and maintain long-term pair bonds. They frequently reuse nest sites.

Clutch Size: Usually 2 eggs, occasionally 1 or 3.

Incubation: Both parents incubate for 38 to 41 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed young by regurgitating food. Young first wander from nest site after about 7 weeks, begin to fly at about 10 weeks, and typically leave the nest area by 12 weeks. Young birds join communal roosts.

Nest: The nest is typically in a dark recess such as a shallow cave, hollow tree, under a rock ledge, log, stump, deer stand, or abandoned building. No nest structure is built. Pairs will continue to use a nest site for many years as long as breeding is successful.

Status in Tennessee: Turkey Vultures are fairly common year round residents statewide. Breeding Bird Survey data indicate that the population is increasing.

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 03, 2021, 06:38:11 PM
Turkey Vulture, continued

Dynamic map of Turkey Vulture eBird observations in Tennessee:
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/turkey-vulture/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583196296185.gif)

Fun Facts:

New World vultures are more closely related to storks than to members of the hawk family.
The Turkey Vulture's highly developed sense of smell enables individuals to locate carcasses beneath a forest canopy. Black Vultures may follow Turkey Vultures to food and displace them. In response, the Turkey Vulture specializes on small food items that can be eaten quickly.
The naked head and neck of both Turkey and Black Vultures prevent their feathers from becoming fouled when they stick them into rotting carcasses.
The Turkey Vulture characteristically holds its wings in a slight "V". This gives them added stability and lift when flying at low altitudes. Flying at low altitudes allows them to better pick up the scent of dead animals.
When they are hot, Turkey Vultures often defecate on their own legs, using the evaporation of the water in the feces to cool them down.
The Turkey Vulture is the main avian species causing damage and fatalities in military aircraft collisions in the United States.
Obsolete English Names: turkey buzzard, buzzard

Best places to see in Tennessee: Turkey Vultures can be seen statewide. They are often seen roosting in the evening and early morning on communications towers.


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/turkey-vulture-004.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/turkey-vulture-009.jpg)

Sources:

Kirk, David A. and Michael J. Mossman. 1998. Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Sibley, D. A. 2001. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.





Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 03, 2021, 06:39:42 PM
Comming soon:   the Bald Eagle
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 04, 2021, 02:20:25 AM
Osprey
Pandion haliaetus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/osprey/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1582758360187.jpg)

With a wingspan of over 5 feet, the Osprey is one of the largest birds of prey in North America.  It eats live fish almost exclusively and is therefore usually found near large bodies of water.

The Osprey was a rare breeding bird in Tennessee before the large reservoirs were built in the early-mid 1900s, but like the Bald Eagle, it suffered low nesting success as a result of contamination from the insecticide DDT.

Starting in 1979, an aggressive hacking program was begun by TVA and TWRA in the state. Hacking is a method of releasing young birds into a suitable but unoccupied habitat.  Between 1980 and 1988, 165 Osprey were hacked from 16 sites across Tennessee.

While there is little specific information on the success of the hacking program, the number of active nests in the state increased from about 3 to 131, from 1980 to 1999 (the last year nests were counted).  Over 150 nests were counted during waterbird surveys across Tennessee in 2012, however, only maybe 10 percent of the river miles in the state were surveyed.

This expansion was also facilitated by the erection of numerous nesting platforms across the state, which continues to the present. The Osprey is one of the most widespread birds in the world, found on all continents except Antarctica.  During the winter, North American breeding Osprey mainly winter south of the United States, in Central and most of South America.

Description: The Osprey is dark brown above, white below, with a white head that has a prominent dark stripe through the eye. In-flight, the long narrow wings are bent at the wrist and patterMales, females, and juveniles look similar.

Length: 23"
Wingspan: 63"
Weight: 3.5 lbs.
Voice: The Osprey is quite vocal, and gives short, shrill whistles, or a single loud, slightly slurred whistle..

Similar Species:

Adult Bald Eagles have a completely white head and tail. Immature Bald Eagles are mottled brown and white, with varying amounts of white under the wings and on the head.ned brown and white.

Habitat: Large rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.

Diet: Live fish, typically 5 to 16 inches in size. Ospreys hover over the water and then plunge feet first onto their prey.

Nesting and reproduction: Ospreys do not start nesting until they are at least 3 years old, and will usually return to the nest used in the previous season.

Clutch Size: 3 eggs, occasionally 2 or 4.

Incubation: Both members of the pair incubate the eggs for 32 to 43 days.

Fledging: After the young hatch, the female stays with them, and the male brings food. Once the young can be left alone, both parents provide food. The young do not fledge until they are 44 to 59 days old.

Nest: Ospreys build large nests near water, on top of dead trees or artificial structures such as nesting poles, utility poles, and cell or TV towers. Nests are made of branches, sticks, and twigs, and lined with smaller twigs, grasses, and other material.

The nest is used for several years with new material added each year.  Old nests can reach 7 feet across and 5 feet deep. Nest Platform instructions here.

Status in Tennessee: The Osprey was a rare breeder in Tennessee before the construction of large reservoirs.

It was listed as Endangered in the state in 1975 because of its small population and poor nesting success.  Due to increasing numbers and a healthy reproductive rate, the status was lowered to Threatened in 1994, and the species was removed from the list entirely in 2000.

Currently across Tennessee, the Osprey is locally common in summer, uncommon during migration, and rare in winter.  The numbers of nesting Osprey in Tennessee continues to slowly increase
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 04, 2021, 02:25:53 AM
Osprey, continued


Obsolete English Names: fish hawk

 Dynamic map of Osprey eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/osprey/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_440903047.img.gif/1582758360748.gif)

Fun Facts:

An Osprey nesting in central Quebec and wintering in southern Brazil might fly more than 124,000 miles in migration during its 15 to 20-year lifetime.
The oldest record for an Osprey in the wild was 26 years, 2 months.
The Osprey's talons are uniquely adapted for catching and carrying fish: their surfaces are rough, and their toes can be held with three forward and one back, or with two forward and two back, an arrangement seen in owls but not in other diurnal raptors. They will carry the fish head first in line with their body to reduce wind resistance in flight.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/osprey/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_181947589.img.jpg/1582758360180.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/osprey-adult-008.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Osprey-005.jpg)


Best places to see in Tennessee:  Reelfoot Lake, Watts Bar, Melton Hill, Tellico, and Fort Loudoun Reservoirs, among many others.

At Watts Bar, a nest can be seen from the intersection of I-24 and Highway 840 on a cell tower northeast of the intersection of the highways.

Another nest can be found on a platform visible from I-40 where it crosses the Clinch River, immediately south of the Kingston Steam Plant.

For more information:

Tennessee's Woodworking for Wildlife page with nest box instructions

Sources:
Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN

Poole, Alan F., Rob O. Bierregaard and Mark S. Martell. 2002. Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online


Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Linda M on August 05, 2021, 09:51:38 AM
I saw an osprey nest with two chicks in it a couple of weeks ago.  They likely have fledged by now.  A young one from a nest in a city just west of here was caught in baling twine in the nest.  A bird watcher reported it, and there was a team from Dept. of Wildlife, a raptor rehab facility, and the local utility company ready to help it.  It was rescued by them when it flew off with the twine attached and was caught hanging upside down in a tree, sent to rehab, and was able to be released back at it's nest area in about a week; nice success story.

Photo of it in rehab, and a link to the video of the release below; I hope this link will work:

https://www.facebook.com/raptorprogram/videos/340432244298341 (https://www.facebook.com/raptorprogram/videos/340432244298341)
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 06, 2021, 03:16:42 AM
Sharp-shinned Hawk,
Accipiter striatus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/sharp-shinned-hawk/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1583195492716.jpg)
The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a small hawk and a regular visitor to bird feeders, where it eats birds, not seed.   Built to move quickly and quietly within dense forest, the Sharp-shinned Hawk approaches its prey stealthily, until it is close enough to overcome its target with a burst of speed.

They breed from central Alaska, across most of Canada and the United States, parts of Mexico, Central America, and in northern South America. They spend the winter from southern Canada through most of the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Description: Male and female Sharp-shinned Hawks have similar plumage, but are more different in size than any other North American hawk.  Males average only 57% the body mass of females.

Adults are gray above with barred, reddish-brown underparts.  Their barred tail is long, narrow, square-tipped, and has a narrow white terminal band. During their first year, Sharp-shinned Hawks are brown above, with brown and white streaking on the belly.  Adult eyes are red; first year bird's eyes are yellow.

In flight, Sharp-shinned Hawks have short, rounded wings that are set slightly more forward on their bodies than those of the larger, but similar-looking, Cooper's Hawk.

Length: 9 to 13"
Wingspan: 17" to 22"
Weight: 0.2 to 0.5 lbs.

Similar Species:

Cooper's Hawk has similar plumage and habits, but has a longer, rounded tail, a larger head, and, in the adult, there is a stronger contrast between the back and the darker cap on the head. The juvenile Cooper's Hawk has less streaking on the belly, and more white on the tip of the tail. In flight, the larger head of the Cooper's Hawk is apparent, and extends out farther in front of the wings. (See link below for more details on distinguishing these two species.)
Habitat: Large stands of deciduous, coniferous, and mixed pine-hardwood forests and pine plantations. In winter, often found in woodlots, towns, and parks.

Diet: Mostly small birds; some large insects and small mammals.

Nesting and reproduction: The species' secretive nature, and the dense vegetation of its nesting habitat, makes it difficult to find and study during the breeding season.

Clutch Size: 4 to 5 eggs, occasionally 3 to 8.

Incubation: Female incubates for 30 to 32 days, while the male brings food to her.

Fledging: At 3 to 4 weeks, the young start venturing out of the nest to nearby branches, and begin to fly a few weeks later.  Once the young can make sustained flights, the parents pass prey to them in mid-air.  The young remain with the parents for another few weeks until they become independent.

Nest: Male and female help collect material for the nest, although the female does most of the building.  The nest is made of large twigs lined with bark, and is often built on top of an old squirrel or crow nest.  The nest is usually well concealed in a dense conifer tree, 20 to 60 feet off the ground.

Status in Tennessee: Sharp-shinned Hawks are an uncommon permanent resident, breeding mainly in Middle and East Tennessee.  They are much more common in the state in September and October, during fall migration, especially along the eastern mountains.  More northerly nesting birds join Tennessee's resident population in the winter.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 06, 2021, 03:23:21 AM
Sharp-shinned Hawk, continued

Dynamic map of Sharp-shinned Hawk eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/sharp-shinned-hawk/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583195493594.gif)

Fun Facts:

Sharp-shinned Hawks, like many hawks, migrate south following certain landscape features like ridges. Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania and Cape May Point, New Jersey are two such locations where large numbers of hawks can be seen during the fall.
Obsolete English Names: little blue darter, sparrow hawk, slate-colored hawk

Best places to see in Tennessee: Sharp-shinned Hawks are most easily seen during September and October in the eastern mountains as they migrate south.


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/sharp-shinned-hawk-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/sharp-shinned-hawk-009.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/sharp-shinned-hawk-002.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/sharp-shinned-hawk-007.jpg)
Sources:

Bildstein, Keith L. and Ken Meyer. 2000. Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 06, 2021, 03:26:25 AM
Cooper's Hawk,
Accipiter cooperii

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/coopers-hawk/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1580407932012.jpg)

The Cooper's Hawk is a crow-sized woodland raptor that specializes in eating birds.   It is built for fast flight through an obstacle course of trees and limbs and is adept at catching birds in flight, including birds at birdfeeders. 

A recent radio-tracking study in southwest Tennessee found that during the non-breeding season, forest habitats were used most for foraging, edge habitats second, and open fields third, even though fields were just as available as forests.

The Cooper's Hawk breeds across most of the United States, southern Canada, and northern Mexico, and winters throughout the United States and Mexico. It is most readily observed during fall migration at "hawk watch" sites where raptors concentrate.

Description: Male and female Cooper's Hawks have similar plumage, but the female is about one third larger than the male.  Adults are gray above with a darker contrasting cap on the head, the underparts are barred reddish-brown, the tail is long, rounded, and barred, and the wings are rounded.

During the first year, Cooper's Hawks are brown above, with brown streaking on the white underparts. Adult eyes are red; first-year bird's eyes are yellow. In-flight, the wingbeat is stiff, and the head appears large.

Length: 14" to 20"
Wingspan: 24" to 35"
Weight: 0.5 to 1.3 lbs.

Similar Species:

The Sharp-shinned Hawk has similar plumage and habits, and both species frequent bird feeders in winter. Though the Sharp-shinned Hawk is smaller, there is an overlap between the smallest male Cooper's and a large female Sharp-shinned Hawk. The tail of a Sharp-shinned Hawk tends to be square at the tips, the head is comparatively smaller, and there is little contrast in color between the head and back. There is overlap with male Cooper's Hawks and female Sharp-shinned, making identification of all individuals problematic without extensive experience with the species (See link below for more details on distinguishing these two species.)
Habitat: In Tennessee, Cooper's Hawks tend to nest near the edge of large patches of deciduous, mixed, and coniferous forests, rural woodlots, and wooded suburban areas.

Diet: Mostly eats medium-sized birds such as doves, pigeons, jays, and robins.

Nesting and reproduction: This is a secretive and inconspicuous species during the breeding season.

Clutch Size: 4 to 5 eggs, occasionally 3 to 7.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 32 to 36 days, while the male brings her food.

Fledging: Both parents feed the nestlings. They start to climb about the nest at 4 weeks of age and begin to make short flights soon after. The parents continue to feed the young for up to 7 weeks.

Nest: The nest is an open bowl of sticks lined with bark and placed in the main crotch, or against the trunk, of a live tree.  Often placed on top of old crow, squirrel, or other hawk nests. The same nest is often used in subsequent years. Nest heights range from 10' to 60' above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: The Cooper's Hawk is an uncommon permanent resident, breeding mainly in Middle and East Tennessee.  It is most common during fall migration, from September to October, especially along the eastern mountains. In winter, more northerly nesting birds join Tennessee's resident population.  Numbers of Cooper's Hawks appear to be stable or possibly increasing.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 06, 2021, 03:31:39 AM
Cooper's Hawk, continued

Dynamic map of Cooper's Hawk eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/coopers-hawk/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580407932765.gif)

Fun Facts:

Cooper's Hawks fly at high speed through vegetation to catch their prey. A recent study found that 23% of all Cooper's Hawks examined had healed fractures in the bones of the chest, especially of the furcula (wishbone). They will also chase prey on foot through thickets.
Unlike falcons that use their bills, Cooper's Hawks squeeze their prey to death with their feet and have been known to drown prey by holding them underwater.
Female Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks are more than 30% larger than males and show some of the greatest reversed size dimorphism of any of the world's hawks.
Large numbers of Cooper's Hawks can be seen on migration, especially at hawk watches such as Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania; Cape May, New Jersey. Fall migration generally begins in late August and continues through early November.
Obsolete English Names: big blue darter, chicken hawk

Best places to see in Tennessee: During migration, at hawk watch sites

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/coopers-hawk-002.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/coopers-hawk-007.jpg)

Sources:

Curtis, Odette E., R. N. Rosenfield and J. Bielefeldt. 2006. Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 08, 2021, 05:21:26 PM
Bald Eagles in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/bald-eagle/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl_744706782/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1587148843892.jpg)

he Bald Eagle was declared the national symbol of the United States in 1782.  Ironically, in the lower 48 states, this species was threatened with extinction in the 1950s and 1960s, due to reproductive failure caused by the pesticide DDT.

This pesticide was banned in 1972. Due to the banning of DDT, habitat protections provided by the Endangered Species Act, and aggressive reintroduction programs conducted by federal and state agencies, Bald Eagle numbers increased sufficiently to be removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species on August 9, 2007.

The Bald Eagle was among the first species to be listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1973 and among the first to be delisted. This species still receives protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act. T

The Bald Eagle is a true North American species breeding and wintering from Alaska, across Canada, in most of the United States, and northern Mexico.

Description: The sexes are alike in plumage, but the female is approximately 20% larger than the male.

The adult Bald Eagle is unmistakable with its all-white head and tail.  The body is dark brown, and the bill, eyes, legs, and feet are yellow.  The legs are unfeathered.

In-flight, the wings are long and broad and held flat while soaring.

Bald Eagles do not reach adult plumage until they are 5 years old.  Immature plumages vary greatly with age but include a mix of dark brown and white scattered throughout the plumage, while some first-year birds are all brown.

During the first 4 years, the bill is blackish, becoming light at the base, the eyes are brown, while legs and feet are yellow, like the adult.

Length: 28-38"
Wingspan: 6.5'
Weight: lbs. 6.5-14 lbs.

Similar Species:

Adult and immature Golden Eagles look like immature Bald Eagles, but they have feathered legs, the white on the underside of the wing is limited to a patch on the flight feathers, and they soar with the outer part of their wings lifted in a slight "V". All immature Bald Eagles have a variety of mixed brown and white feathers on the breast and wings. Golden Eagles are rare in Tennessee in all seasons.
Habitat: Breeds in forested areas near large bodies of water. Bald Eagles winter on reservoirs and large rivers in Tennessee.

Diet: Opportunistic feeder, but prefers fish. Bald Eagles will eat large birds, injured waterfowl, mammals, and carrion.

Nesting and reproduction: Bald Eagles form long-term pair bonds that usually last the life of the birds. In Tennessee, egg laying peaks in late February.

Clutch Size: Usually 2 eggs, but occasionally 1 or 3 eggs.

Incubation: Both parents incubate from 34 to 36 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the nestlings, which leave the nest in 10 to 12 weeks. Young birds usually remain near the nest for another several week.

Nest: The male assists the female in building a large bulky nest in the top of a large tree near an opening that can accommodate their large wingspan. The nest is used for several years with new material added each year. Old nests can reach 8 feet across and 12 feet deep, and weigh several tons.

Status in Tennessee: The size and distribution of the Bald Eagle population in Tennessee, before the continent-wide population crash in the 1950s to mid-1970s, is unknown.

However, there were no known successful Bald Eagle nests found in the state between 1961 and 1983. Efforts, coordinated by TWRA, to restore Tennessee's eagle population began in 1980 and continued until 2003, and young eagles were "hacked", a form of reintroduction, at several locations in the state.

The first successful Bald Eagle nest was discovered near Dover, TN in the spring of 1983. There are over 175 nesting pairs of Bald Eagles in Tennessee today (as of 2012), and most of these birds remain in the state year-round. Individuals from more northern breeding populations migrate to Tennessee for the winter, arriving in late October, and peak numbers of 300 to 500 individuals occur in late January to mid-February.

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 08, 2021, 05:26:16 PM
Bald Eagle, continued

Dynamic map of Bald Eagle eBird observations in Tennessee

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/bald-eagle/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1103969997.img.gif/1587141506154.gif)
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/bald-eagle/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image.img.jpg/1587141494181.jpg)

One Tennessee citizen, Thomas McEwen has been keeping up with an Eagle family in Middle Tennessee.  You can see mom, dad and baby in our following photo gallery.   To see more of Thomas's images, and follow along with the Eagle family, you can visit www.tmcewenphotography.com

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/American-Bald-Eagle-Thomas-McEwen-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/American-Bald-Eagle-Thomas-McEwen-008.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/American-Bald-Eagle-Thomas-McEwen-007.jpg)
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 08, 2021, 05:28:59 PM
Bald Eagle, continued

Best places to see in Tennessee: In winter: Reelfoot, Dale Hollow, Kentucky, Chickamauga, Watts Bar, and Pickwick Lakes.


 Fun Facts:

The "bald" in Bald Eagles comes from an old English term meaning white, referring to its white head.
The life span has been recorded at 39 years in the wild and 50 years in captivity.
Horizontal flight speed has been measured at 44 miles per hour.
Obsolete English Names: American bald eagle, white-headed eagle

Sources:
Buehler, David A. 2000. Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/American-Bald-Eagle-Thomas-McEwen-003.jpg)
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 08, 2021, 05:32:06 PM
Red-shouldered Hawk,
 Buteo lineatus
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-shouldered-hawk-006.jpg)

This common forest-dwelling the Red Shouldered Hawk is often seen soaring and calling loudly and repeatedly.  It may be the most vocal of American hawks, but since a Blue Jay can imitate a Red-shouldered Hawk remarkably well, care must be used when identifying this bird by voice alone.

This hawk generally hunts from a perch, waiting for its prey to reveal itself, and then swooping down to snatch it from the ground or water surface. The Red-shouldered Hawk is found in woodlands near water in the eastern United States and in California.  They spend the non-breeding season throughout much of that range below the Canadian border.

Description: The Red-shouldered Hawk is a fairly large hawk, with black and white striped wings and tail, a mottled brown back, and orange barring on the breast.  The "red-shoulder" is actually rust colored and not always obvious.

In flight from above, the rusty wing-coverts contrast with the black-and-white striped flight feathers; from below when backlit, there is a translucent crescent-shaped panel in the outer primaries of the wing.

During their first year, birds have brown upperparts, streaked brown and white underparts, and a tail with dark and light brown bands.

Males and females look alike, but the female is larger.

Length: 17"
Wingspan: 40"
Weight: 1.4 lbs.

Voice: Often calls in a series of descending keeyuur screams, similar to a Blue Jay.

Similar Species:

Broad-winged Hawks have broader black and white tailbands, and pale under wings that contrast with a dark outside boarder.
Habitat: Mature, mixed moist deciduous-coniferous woodlands, especially bottomland hardwood, riparian areas, and flooded deciduous swamps.

Diet: Small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and crayfish.

Nesting and reproduction: Pairs return to breeding territories in January and February, and soar in circles high over their territories calling loudly.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 eggs, occasionally 2 to 4.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 28 days. The male supplies her and the young with nearly all of their food until the young near fledging.

Fledging: Young leave the nest at about 6 weeks of age, but may continue to be fed by their parents for another 8 to10 weeks.

Nest: The nest is usually placed below the canopy in a main fork of a tall, mature, deciduous tree close to water.  Both the male and female construct the nest of sticks and line it with twigs or leaves.

The nest may be used in subsequent years, with new lining added.  Nest heights in Tennessee average 45' and range from 25' to 65' above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: The Red-shouldered Hawk is a permanent resident and found throughout most of the state.  It was listed as In Need of Management from 1976 until 1994 because of concerns over range-wide declines.

However, in Tennessee, the Red-shouldered Hawk population appears to have been increasing since the 1960s. The wintering population is composed of non-migratory resident birds and birds from more northern breeding areas.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 08, 2021, 05:37:12 PM
Red-shouldered Hawkcontinued

Dynamic map of Red-shouldered Hawk eBird observations in Tennessee

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/red-shouldered-hawk/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583109491903.gif)

Fun Facts:

By the time they are 5 days old, nestling Red-shouldered Hawks can shoot their feces over the edge of their nest. Bird poop on the ground is a sign of an active nest.
The Red-shouldered Hawks and the Barred Owls occupy the same range in the eastern United States. They prefer the same moist woodland habitats and eat similar animals. The hawk is active during the day, and the owl is active at night.
Obsolete English Names: elegant hawk, winter hawk, red-bellied hawk

Best places to see in Tennessee: Red-shouldered Hawks breed throughout much of the state where there is deciduous forest near open water and clearings.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-shouldered-hawk-0010.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-shouldered-hawk-008.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-shouldered-hawk-009.jpg)


Sources:

Dykstra, C.R., J.L. Hays and S.T. Crocoll. 2008. Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 10, 2021, 12:55:35 AM
Red-tailed Hawk,
Buteo jamaicensis

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-tailed-hawk-009.jpg)

The Red-tailed Hawk is one of the most widespread and commonly observed hawks in Tennessee. It frequently perches in trees along roadside and is more likely to nest in wooded residential neighborhoods than other hawks.

The breeding range of the Red-tailed Hawk extends across North America from Alaska to Florida and southward to Panama and the Caribbean. It is found in Tennessee year round and migrants from the northern parts of the range join resident birds in winter.

Description: The Red-tailed Hawk is extremely variable in appearance across North America with light and dark forms. Tennessee birds look like the most common eastern form with a pale chest and dark band across the belly, and a reddish unbarred tail. In flight, wings are long and broad with a dark bar on the leading edge.

During their first year, birds have a streaked brown belly and brown tail with several dark bars. Males and females look alike, but as with most birds of prey, the female is larger.

Length: 19"
Wingspan: 49"
Weight: 2.4 lbs

Voice: The call is a distinctive descending raspy scream, kleeyeeeeer.

Similar Species:

Red-shouldered Hawk has a black and white banded tail and appears more uniformly colored.
Habitat: Found in open areas with scattered elevated perches including near agricultural areas, pastures, parkland, and open woodland. Commonly seen perched on telephone poles and trees along roadsides.

Diet: Small to medium sized mammals, birds, and snakes, with occasional insects and fresh carrion.

Nesting and reproduction: Red-tailed Hawks rarely breed before their second year. They form long-term pair bonds that usually last the life of the birds. Males and females perform a courtship ritual in which they dive and roll in the sky. They may lock talons and fall towards the ground before splitting apart.

Clutch Size: 2 to 3 eggs, rarely to 5.

Incubation: Both adults incubate for about 34 days. Female generally does all of the brooding of the young, while the male supplies her and the young with food.

Fledging: The young start climbing branches near the nest after 42 to 46 days and leave the nest after 9 weeks. They will remain with their parents for up to 10 more weeks.

Nest: The large stick nest is built by both adults and is usually placed in a large tree in an open area. Nest material is added in subsequent years and nests can reach a diameter of over 3 feet. Nest heights range from 25 to 100 feet above the ground, with an average height of 65 feet.

Status in Tennessee: The Red-tailed Hawk is a common, permanent resident statewide. In winter the Tennessee breeding population is augmented by an influx of more northern nesting birds. Maximum numbers occur in the state from November through March. The population is stable or increasing in Tennessee.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 10, 2021, 12:59:32 AM
Red-tailed Hawk, continued

Dynamic map of Red-tailed Hawk eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/red-tailed-hawk/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583109498199.gif)

Fun Facts:

Filmmakers frequently use the cry of a Red-tailed hawk to represent any hawk or eagle anywhere in the world.
The oldest record for a Red-tailed Hawk in the wild was 28 years 10 months.
85 to 90% of the Red-tailed Hawk's diet is composed of small rodents.
Red-tailed Hawks can spot a mouse from a height of 100 feet.
Harlan's hawk and Krider's Hawk are names given to 2 western subspecies of the Red-tailed Hawk.
Obsolete English Names: buzzard hawk

Best places to see in Tennessee: Roadsides and open lands statewide.

For more information:

Patuxent Wildlife Research Center species information

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-tailed-hawk-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-tailed-hawk-008.jpg)
Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Preston, C. R. and R. D. Beane. 1993. Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis ), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.



Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 10, 2021, 01:02:21 AM
Killdeer
Charadrius vociferus


(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/killdeer/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1582055929388.jpg)

Killdeers are the most widespread and familiar shorebird in North America because they take advantage of man-altered habitats like gravel roads, athletic fields, lawns, as well as mudflats near water. They are easily identified by the two dark bands on their chest, and the kill-deer call they give even in flight and after dark.

The breeding range of the Killdeer extends across Alaska and Canada south to southern Mexico, and in winter from southern Alaska across the upper U.S. south to northern South America.

Killdeers are common year round residents in Tennessee.

Description: The Killdeer is a medium-sized shorebird that is brown above, white below with two conspicuous black bands across the chest, and a bright orange rump visible in flight. It has a round head, large eye, short neck, and moderately long legs.

Males and females look alike.

Length: 10.5"

Wingspan: 24"

Weight: 3.3 oz

Voice: The call is a loud, piercing kill-deer. The call is given during the day, but also at night.

Similar Species:

No other North American shorebird has two chest bands.
Habitat: Foraging habitat includes pastures, cultivated fields, athletic fields, airports, golf courses, gravel parking lots, sandbars, and mudflats. Common nest sites in Tennessee include pastures, recently plowed fields, lake and pond margins, gravel roads, parking lots, gravel rooftops, airports, and golf courses.

Diet: Terrestrial invertebrates, especially earthworms, grasshoppers, beetles and snails.

Nesting and reproduction: In Tennessee, the Killdeer has one of the longest breeding seasons of any breeding bird in the state nesting from late winter to mid-summer, and often raises two broods in one season.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 eggs, with a range of 3 to 5 eggs.

Incubation: Both adults incubate the eggs for 24 to 28 days. The male usually incubates at night.

Fledging: The young leave the nest within hours of hatching and are tended by both parents. They are independent at about 40 days.

Nest: The nest is a simple scrape on the ground made by the male in an open exposed area.

Status in Tennessee: The Killdeer is a common permanent resident across the state. The population appears to be increasing.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 10, 2021, 01:08:20 AM
Killdeer, continued

Dynamic map of Killdeer eBird observations in Tennessee

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/killdeer/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1118565162.img.gif/1582055929538.gif)
Fun Facts:

The broken-wing distraction display performed by either parent is used to lure a predator away from nests or chicks. The adult drags its wings and tail acting like it is hurt and unable to fly. The adult moves gradually away from the nest, and once the predator is far enough away, it will fly off and return to a place near the nest.
In order to keep cows and horses from stepping on a nest, an adult Killdeer will fluff itself up, fanning its tail over its head, and rush at the animal.
Obsolete English Names: kill-dee (This name is still commonly used in Tennessee)

Best places to see in Tennessee: Killdeer can be found in a variety of open habitats across the state including pastures, recently plowed fields, lake and pond margins, gravel roads, parking lots, gravel rooftops, airports, and golf courses.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Killdeer-5.jpg)
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Killdeer-adult-5.jpg)

Sources:
Jackson, Bette J. and Jerome A. Jackson. 2000. Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), The Birds of North America, No. 517 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists' Union.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.



Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 10, 2021, 06:40:10 PM
Spotted Sandpiper,
Actitis macularius
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/spotted-sandpiper/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1583195848652.jpg)
The Spotted Sandpiper is the most widespread breeding sandpiper in North America, ranging coast to coast across the northern half of the continent.

It reaches the southern limit of that range in Tennessee, where just a few pairs breed in scattered locations across the state.

It is much more common in Tennessee during spring and fall migration when individuals can be found at the edge of just about any type of water body including lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.

Rather than traveling in large flocks like most shorebirds, the Spotted Sandpiper migrates singly or in small groups on its way between the breeding grounds and the wintering grounds that extend from the extreme southern U.S. to southern South America.

Description: Both the constant tail-bobbing and stiff shallow wing beats make this medium-sized sandpiper easy to identify.

In spring and summer, the white breast and belly have distinct black spots, the back is brown with faint black bars, and the bill is orange with a black tip.

During the non-breeding season, the back is duller and the underparts are plain white with some brown extending down the sides of the breast.

In all plumages, there is a thin white eye-stripe, a faint eye-ring, and a brown rump and tail.

The sexes are alike in plumage, but females are larger.

Length: 7.5"
Wingspan: 15"
Weight: 1.4 oz

Similar Species:

Solitary Sandpipers occasionally bob their tail, but they are slightly larger, have a prominent white eye-ring, but no white eye-stripe. The back is a more grayish brown and has white spots.
Habitat: Breeding territories are in a variety of habitats, but include semi-open upland with dense patches of vegetation and usually contain some shoreline.

During migration Spotted Sandpipers can be found on the shoreline of rivers, lakes, streams, or ponds.

Diet: Aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates.

Nesting and reproduction: Spotted Sandpipers are unusual among birds in that the female is the one that establishes and defends the territory.

She will court and breed with several males, and the males are responsible for incubating and raising the young.

One female may lay eggs for up to four different males in one season.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 eggs, with a range of 3 to 5.

Incubation: The male incubates for about 3 weeks.

Fledging: The young leave the nest soon after hatching, and the male will tend them for another 3 weeks.

Nest: The nest is a shallow depression lined with dead grass and some woody stems, and usually built under shading vegetation on the ground near water.

Status in Tennessee: The Spotted Sandpiper is a fairly common migrant and a rare summer and winter resident in the state.

During migration, it can be found along the banks of streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds from mid-April through late May, and then again from late July through September.

Breeding and wintering birds can be found in scattered locations across the state.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 10, 2021, 06:49:18 PM
Spotted Sandpiper, continued

Dynamic map of Spotted Sandpipers eBird observations in Tennessee

https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/spotted-sandpiper/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_389721861.img.gif/1583195848761.gif (https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/spotted-sandpiper/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_389721861.img.gif/1583195848761.gif)
Fun Facts:

One female can mate with up to 4 males in one season. She is also able to store sperm for up to one month, so the eggs she lays for one male may have been fathered by a different male from a previous mating.
The function of the bobbing motion typical of this species has not been determined. Chicks start bobbing soon after hatching.
Obsolete English Names: spotted tattler


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Spotted-Sandpiper-winter-plumage-5.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Spotted-Sandpiper-7.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Spotted-Sandpiper-8.jpg)
Best places to see in Tennessee: During spring migration (mid-April to late May) and fall migration (late July through September) Spotted Sandpipers can be found on the shoreline of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams across the state.

Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of TN Press, Knoxville, TN.
Oring, L. W., E. M. Gray, and J. M. Reed. 1997. Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia). The Birds of North America, No. 289 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of TN Press, Knoxville, TN.
Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 12, 2021, 02:14:18 AM
Ring-billed Gull,
Larus delawarensis
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/ring-billed-gull/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1583109507330.jpg)
The Ring-billed Gull is a medium sized, white-headed, primarily inland nesting North American gull that frequents garbage dumps, parking lots, and southern coastal beaches in large numbers during the winter.  It is Tennessee's most common wintering gull arriving in late September and departing by early May.

This species was nearly decimated by human persecution and development from 1850 to 1920, but has since rebounded and the current population is in the millions of birds.  The breeding range extends from British Columbia eastward to Newfoundland, through the northern Great Plains and around the Great Lakes.

Ring-billed Gulls spend the winter on the coasts from British Columbia and Maine to Mexico, around the Great Lakes, and inland across the southern United States where open water and food are available.

Description: Like many gulls, it takes 3 years for a Ring-billed Gull to reach adult plumage.  In adults the head, tail, and underparts are white, the back and upper wings are light gray, and the wingtips are black with white spots.

The adult's legs and eyes are yellow, and the bill is yellow with a black ring near the tip.  During the first winter the back is gray, the head and underparts are speckled with brown, the wings are patterned with brown, white, gray, and black, and the tail has a black band.  Second-winter birds somewhat resemble adults but have a narrow black band on the tail.  Males and females look the same.

Length: 17.5"
Wingspan: 48"
Weight: 1.1 lbs.

Similar Species:

The Herring Gull is larger and the adult has a yellow bill with a red spot on the lower mandible, and has pinkish legs. A sub-adult Herring Gull may have a broad dark ring around bill, but will also have a broader black band on the tail.
Habitat: Large rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.  Also seen in parking lots outside shopping malls and fast food restaurants, and garbage dumps.

Diet: Fish, insects, earthworms, rodents, grain, garbage.

Nesting and reproduction: Ring-billed Gulls do not nest in Tennessee.  Gulls seen in summer are usually non-breeding immature individuals.

Status in Tennessee: The Ringed-bill Gull is a common migrant and winter resident across the state arriving in late September and departing by early May.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 12, 2021, 02:18:44 AM
Ring-billed Gull,continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/ring-billed-gull/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583109510332.gif)

un Facts:

Although not typically thought of as a predator of small, fast-flying birds, a Ring-billed Gull was photographed chasing and catching a Cliff Swallow in flight in California in 2009!
How young birds know where to migrate is still a mystery. Researcher have found that 2 day old Ring-billed Gulls already shows a preference for magnetic bearings that would take them in the appropriate direction for their fall migration.
In the late 19th century, this bird was hunted for its plumage. Its population has since rebounded and it is probably the most common gull in North America.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Ringed-bill Gulls are widely distributed across the state on major rivers, and large bodies of water from late September to early May.



(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/ring-billed-gull-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/ring-billed-gull-004.jpg)
Sources:

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of TN Press, Knoxville, TN.

Ryder, J. P. 1992. Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis). The Birds of North America, No. 33 (A. Poole, P. Stettenheim, and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 12, 2021, 02:21:32 AM
Rock Pigeon,
Columba livia

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/rock-pigeon-002.jpg)

The Rock Pigeon, formerly known as the Rock Dove, was introduced to North America in the early 17th-century by colonists on the Atlantic coast and is now a common sight in urban areas from southern Alaska across North America to the tip of South America.

Native to Europe, North Africa, and most of Asia this species was domesticated over 5,000 years ago for food and entertainment.

It is the most intensively studied bird in the world. While most Rock Pigeons nest on human-made structures, many can be found on natural cliffs in Tennessee.

Description: Because of their domestic roots, Rock Pigeons have a variety of plumages from pure white to gray to solid brown.

The most common plumage is similar to the ancestral wild Rock Pigeon, which is overall gray with a white rump, two black wing bars, a rounded tail with a dark tip, and iridescent purplish green on the neck and head.

The sexes are similar but males average larger and have more iridescence on the neck.

Length: 12.5"
Wingspan: 28"
Weight: 9 oz
Voice: A soft, series of gurgling coo-roo-coo.

Similar Species:

The Mourning Dove is slimmer and has a long, pointed tail with white outer tail feathers.
Eurasian Collared-Dove is pale sandy gray overall, with a square tail, and a narrow black half-collar on the back of the neck.
Habitat: Urban and suburban areas, parks, agricultural areas, fields, and farms with grain silos, industrial parks, rail yards, and occasionally rocky cliffs.

Diet: Seeds, fruits, rarely invertebrates.

Nesting and reproduction: Usually gregarious, pairs often nest close to each other. In Tennessee, the nesting season extends from at least January through September. Rock Pigeons will produce two or three broods in a season.

Clutch Size: Usually 2 eggs, occasionally one.

Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for 16 to 19 days.

Fledging: The young are fed "crop milk," a nutritious fluid produced by both parents. Seeds are added to the diet as the young mature. They leave the nest at 25 to 26 days old.

Nest: The nest is a flimsy stick platform built undercover on building ledges, in barns, under bridges and occasionally on natural rock ledges or quarries. Nest sites are often reused with a new nest being built on top of the old one. Pigeons do not remove the feces of their nestlings and the nest turns into a sturdy mound that gets larger month by month.

Status in Tennessee: Common permanent resident in urban and agricultural areas across the state. The Tennessee population is stable or possibly increasing. Most Rock Pigeons depend on humans for food and nest sites resulting in little competition with native birds. They are not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 12, 2021, 02:25:19 AM
Rock Pigeon, continued

Dynamic map of Rock Pigeon eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/rock-pigeon/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583193755345.gif)

Fun Facts:

The "crop milk," which both parents produce and feed to the young, contains more fat and protein than human or cow's milk.
Homing pigeons are domestic Rock Pigeons and their ability to find their way home from long distances is well known. They can even navigate their way home from a distant location blindfolded by sensing the earth's magnetic fields! Interesting, wild Rock Pigeons are non-migratory and rarely travel far from their breeding areas.
In both World War I and II, Rock Pigeons, also known as carrier pigeons, carried vital messages for the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
Charles Darwin kept pigeons and it was his observations on the creation of different pigeon breeds that helped lead him to some aspects of his theory of evolution.
Obsolete English Names: dove, rock dove, common pigeon, feral pigeon, homing pigeon, carrier pigeons

Best places to see in Tennessee: Rock Pigeons can be found statewide at urban and industrial centers, and agricultural areas.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/rock-pigeon-004.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/rock-pigeon-003.jpg)

Sources:

Johnston, Richard F. 1992. Rock Pigeon (Columba livia), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 15, 2021, 05:36:54 PM
Eurasian Collared-Dove,
Streptopelia decaocto
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eurasian-collared-dove-004.jpg)


he Eurasian Collared-Dove was inadvertently introduced into the Bahamas in the mid-1970s. It naturally spread to Florida and is now established throughout the southeastern United States. Its breeding range in North America continues to expand north and west.

The first nesting record in Tennessee occurred in May 1994 in Shelby County, and as of 2008 Eurasian Collared-Doves have been recorded in 80 of the 95 Tennessee counties. The success of the Eurasian Collared-Dove can be attributed to the wide availability of seed offered by backyard bird feeders, grain in agricultural areas, and tolerance of human activities.

Description: Larger than a Mourning Dove, the Eurasian Collared-Dove is pale sandy gray with a pinkish hue on the head and breast when observed in good light. There is a narrow black half-collar on the back of the neck (not always visible). The wings are mottled gray with dark primaries, and the tail is long and square. The under-tail pattern is black near the base with a broad white terminal edge. Both sexes look alike.

Length: 13"
Wingspan: 22"
Weight: 7 oz

Voice: The song is a three-notes coo-coo-coo, with the first note quickly followed by a second, longer note, then a short pause before the final short note. They also give a musical growl in flight.

Similar Species:

Mourning Doves have a long pointed tail with white outer tail feathers, and only a spot, rather than a collar, on the neck.
Habitat: Found in urban, suburban, and agricultural areas where grain is available.

Diet: Seeds and cereal grain, some insects.

Nesting and reproduction: The Eurasian Collared-Dove primarily nests from February through May, but may nest at any time of year.

Clutch Size: 2 eggs

Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for 14 to 16 days.

Fledging: The young are fed "crop milk," a nutritious fluid produced by both parents, and seeds as the young mature. The young leave the nest at about 18 days old.

Nest: The female usually builds the nest with the male gathering nest material. The nest is made of twigs, stems, roots, and grasses and usually placed in trees, often near human habitation.

Status in Tennessee: Eurasian Collared-Doves are currently uncommon statewide in metropolitan areas, small towns, and agricultural areas. They only recently arrived in the state and as of December 2008, had been observed in 80 of the 95 Tennessee counties. The 15 counties where the species has not been reported are: Campbell, Cheatham, Cocke, Hancock, Jackson, Johnson, Morgan, Scott, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, and Van Buren.

Eurasian Collared-Doves are usually found in small groups, but on occasion, in large concentrations where food is abundant. In 2007, 3,000 were observed from one location in Memphis, but numbers over a dozen are uncommon. The 2007-2008 the Tennessee Christmas Bird Count reported 526 individuals on 12 counts statewide. In August 2008, 169 were seen flying from a roost in Smyrna, Rutherford Co.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 15, 2021, 05:39:50 PM
Eurasian Collared-Dove, continued

Dynamic map of Eurasian Collared-Dove eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/eurasian-collared-dove/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1581275342925.gif)

Fun Facts:

Introduced into the Bahamas in the mid-1970s, the Eurasian Collared-Dove is now established throughout the southeastern United States and has been seen across the continent. Its spread across North America is still an evolving story, and the extent of its final range and the impact it will have on other bird species remains to be seen.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Farms with grain silos, cemeteries, and residential areas, especially in West Tennessee.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eurasian-collared-dove-002.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eurasian-collared-dove-003.jpg)

Sources:

Knight, R. L. 2008. The Birds of Northeast Tennessee. Universal Printing,
Bristol, VA.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee
Press, Knoxville.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ.
of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 15, 2021, 05:41:38 PM
Mourning Dove
Zenaida macroura

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/mourning-dove-005.jpg)

The Mourning Dove is an abundant and widespread terrestrial bird breeding from southern Canada, across the United States to Central America and the Caribbean.  It utilizes a variety of habitats across Tennessee.

It can be found in both rural and urban landscapes, nests readily around yards and farmsteads, and is a frequent visitor to bird feeders.  The distinctive mournful song gives this species its name, however, some people mistaken this call for an owl.

Description: The head of this medium-sized bird is small with a black comma-shaped spot below and behind the eye, the body is light brown, the tail is long and pointed and has white outer edges.  The wings have black spots and whistle in flight. The male and female are similar in appearance, but the male is slightly larger and slightly more colorful with a bluish crown and pink chest.

Length: 12"
Wingspan: 18"
Weight: 4.2 oz

Voice: The song is a melancholy cooing of 5 notes, the second higher pitched, followed by three repeated notes: ooAH cooo oo oo This mournful song is often mistaken for an owl. When alarmed the wings produce a whistle upon takeoff.

Similar Species:

Rock Pigeons are larger and chunkier, the wings are broader, and the tail is square.
Eurasian Collared-Doves are also slender, but are larger and heavier, the tail is long but square with white corners, and they have a black collar across the back of the neck.
Habitat: Breeds in variety of open habitats, including agricultural areas, open woods, deserts, forest edges, cities and suburbs.

Diet: Primarily seeds.

Nesting and reproduction: Peak nesting is from April to August, but Mourning Doves have been found nesting in Tennessee in every month of the year and they can produce multiple broods. As with other pigeons and doves, both parents feed newly hatched young on "crop milk," a unique secretion of the cells of the crop wall.

Clutch Size: 2 eggs.

Incubation: Incubation of the eggs is by both parents and lasts for 13 to 14 days.

Fledging: The young are fed "crop milk," a nutritious fluid produced by both parents. Young leave the nest in 12 to 15 days and are tended by the male for an additional week.

Nest: The female builds the nest with the male bringing her sticks. It is a flimsy platform of twigs, often sparse enough to see the eggs from below. The nest is placed in deciduous or coniferous trees, tangles of shrubs, or vines, occasionally on the deserted nest of another species, and sometimes on a rock ledge or other structure. Nests are frequently reused.

Status in Tennessee: The Mourning Dove is a familiar, abundant, resident across the state. Birds migrating here from more northerly latitudes augment the winter population. The Mourning Dove is the most popular game species in Tennessee. From 1981 to 1990, an average of 141,000 hunters harvested an average of almost 3 million doves per year in the state. The population in Tennessee is generally stable.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 15, 2021, 05:45:07 PM
Mourning Dove, continued

Dynamic map of Mourning Dove eBird observations in Tennessee

https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/mourning-dove/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582128974026.gif

Fun Facts:

In Tennessee, Mourning Doves have been found nesting in every month of the year.
Mourning Doves, like most doves, lay no more than two eggs, but may have up to 5 or 6 clutches in a single year.
The Mourning Dove is a popular game species. Despite being hunted throughout most of its range, it remains among the 10 most abundant birds in the United States, with a population estimated at 350 million individuals.
Obsolete English Names: Carolina dove, common dove

Best places to see in Tennessee: Backyards, farms, forests, and grasslands statewide.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/mourning-dove-007.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/mourning-dove-003.jpg)


Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Otis, David L., John H. Schulz, David Miller, R. E. Mirarchi and T. S. Baskett. 2008. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura), The Birds of North America, (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 15, 2021, 05:47:51 PM
Yellow-billed Cuckoo,
Coccyzus americanus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-billed-cuckoo-002.jpg)

While common in Tennessee during the breeding season, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo is not easily seen because of its habit of waiting motionless for long periods watching for an insect or caterpillar.

Its loud call is given throughout the day, and the term "rain crow" is sometimes used because of its tendency to call more on cloudy days.  However, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo's ability to predict rain has never been documented.

This bird breeds from the Great Plains eastward across the U.S., and in scattered locations west to California; it winters in South America.  Unique among Tennessee's breeding birds, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo's local distribution and the onset of breeding appear to be correlated with local food abundance.  Once nesting is initiated, the breeding cycle is extremely rapid and requires only 17 days from egg-laying to fledging of young!

Its call is familiar to many because it is loud and given throughout the day during the summer. "Raincrow" is a common alternate name for its tendency to call more on cloudy days, but its ability to predict rain has never been documented.

The Yellow-billed Cuckoo breeds across the eastern U.S. westward to the Great Plains, and in scattered locations west to California, and winters in South America.  This species has several characteristics that make it unique among Tennessee's breeding birds.

Their local distribution and the onset of breeding appear to be correlated with local food abundance. Once nesting is initiated, the breeding cycle is extremely rapid and requires only 17 days from egg-laying to fledging of young.

Description: This slender, medium-sized bird is dull brown above and whitish below. It has long wings with rusty primaries, a long tail with large white spots along edges visible in flight from above, and from below when perching.  The graduated tail shape makes the spots appear in three patches up the tail. The bill is black with a yellow lower mandible. The sexes are similar in plumage, but the female averages slightly larger.

Length: 12"
Wingspan: 18"
Weight: 2.3 oz

Voice: The song is a slow, deep, guttural series of monotonous low notes, ending with a hollow-sounding klop klop klop.

Similar Species:

Black-billed Cuckoo has an all-black bill, a red ring around the eye, much smaller white spots under the paler tail, and lacks the rusty patch in the wing. Easily distinguished by voice. The Black-billed Cuckoo is an uncommon migrant and is known to breed at only a few locations in eastern Tennessee.
Habitat: Open woodlands with clearings and dense scrubby vegetation, often along the water.

Diet: Caterpillars (especially hairy ones), large insects, some fruits and seeds.

Nesting and reproduction: Breeding often coincides with outbreaks of cicadas and tent caterpillars. Egg-to-fledge time is especially short.

Clutch Size: Usually 2 to 4 eggs, occasionally 1 to 8.

Incubation: Both adults incubate the eggs for 9 to 11 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which leave the nest in 7 to 10 days. They can fly in a couple of weeks.

Nest: The male and female build the flimsy shallow platform of twigs, lined sparingly with dried leaves or strips of bark. Placed on a branch of a small tree or large shrub.

Status in Tennessee: Fairly common migrant and summer resident of woodlands across the state, arriving in late April or May and departing by mid-October. Numbers are apparently influenced by insect abundance.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 15, 2021, 05:52:30 PM
Yellow-billed Cuckoo, continued

Dynamic map of Yellow-billed Cuckoo eBird observations in Tennessee
https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/yellow-billed-cuckoo/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583271588652.gif (https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/yellow-billed-cuckoo/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583271588652.gif)

Fun Facts:

Both Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoo young develop incredibly fast. It takes a mere 17 days from egg-laying until the young fledge from the nest.
Worldwide, most species of cuckoos are "nest parasites," laying their eggs in the nests of other species. Yellow-billed Cuckoos only occasionally parasitize other species, but their eggs have been found in the nests of 11 different birds, most commonly Black-billed Cuckoo, American Robin, Gray Catbird, and Wood Thrush.
Obsolete English Names: rain crow

Best places to see in Tennessee: Always a difficult bird to see, but found in woodlands and woodland edges across the state.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-billed-cuckoo-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-billed-cuckoo-006.jpg)

Sources:

Hughes, J. M. 1999. Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus ). The Birds of North America, No. 418 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 16, 2021, 02:09:50 AM
Eastern Screech-Owl
Megascops asio

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-screech-owl-007.jpg)

The Eastern Screech-Owl is a small, nocturnal woodland owl with ear-tufts.  Its song is a distinctive trill and descending whinny that does not sound like the typical hooting of an owl.

his owl has two color-morphs, reddish-brown and gray.  In Tennessee the red morph outnumbers the gray by almost two to one. No other North American owl has such distinctive plumage differences.

The Eastern Screech-Owl is non-migratory and occurs east of the Rocky Mountains from the Canadian border to northeastern Mexico.  It is found in urban as well as rural areas and readily nests in nest boxes.  Like most owls, it is more often heard than seen.

Description: The Eastern Screech-Owl is a small owl, with feathered ear-tufts, and has both a reddish-brown and a gray color-morph.  The toes are feathered, the eyes are yellow, and the bill is greenish.  Male and female plumage is similar, the female is larger, but the male's voice is lower-pitched.

Length: 8.5" (height)
Wingspan: 20"
Weight: 6 oz

Voice: Eastern Screech-Owls give both a trill on one note, lasting up to 3 seconds, and a descending wavering whinny-like song. These songs are usually uttered separately.

Similar Species:

The Northern Saw-whet Owl is smaller, with a black bill, white streaking on light brown crown. This owl nests locally in east Tennessee, and (nocturnally) migrates across the state, although rarely detected.
Habitat: Found in most habitats with trees, including urban and suburban areas. Prefers deciduous to coniferous forest and riparian woodlands.

Diet: Insects, crayfish, earthworms, songbirds, rodents.

Nesting and reproduction: Egg laying peaks in late March and early April.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 4 eggs, range from 2 to 6.

Incubation: The female does most of the incubating, which lasts 26 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young. They leave the nest at about 31 days and are dependent on the parents for up to 3 more months.

Nest: Nests and roosts in cavities that are either natural, excavated by a woodpecker, or human-made nest boxes, including Wood Duck boxes. They add no nesting material to nest cavity. Next Box Instructions here.

Status in Tennessee: The Eastern Screech-Owl is the most numerous owl in the state. It is found at lower elevations and considered fairly common throughout
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 16, 2021, 02:16:06 AM
Eastern Screech-Owl, continued
Fun Facts:

Eastern Screech-Owls are usually monogamous and pairs remain together for life. On occasion, males will mate with a second female, who may evict the first female, add her own eggs in the clutch, and incubate both sets of eggs.
The trill and descending whinny-like song of the Eastern Screech-Owl is sometimes used for ambience in television and movie night scenes. The whinny is used in territory defense and the songs are usually uttered separately.
Even though Eastern Screech-Owls are known to eat European Starlings, starlings regularly evict screech-owls from their cavities and nest there themselves.
Obsolete English Names: common screech-owl, mottled owl

Best places to see in Tennessee: Like most owls, they are rarely seen, but can be found in most second growth forest statewide.

For more information:

Tennessee's Woodworking for Wildlife page with nest box instructions



Dynamic map of Eastern Screech-Owl eBird observations in Tennessee

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/eastern-screech-owl/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580853593951.gif[img]


https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-screech-owl-002.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-screech-owl-003.jpg)

Sources:

Gehlbach, F. R. 1995. Eastern Screech-Owl (Otus asio). The Birds of North America, No. 165 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

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(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-screech-owl-006.jpg)


Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 16, 2021, 09:36:39 AM
Great Horned Owl
Bubo virginianus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/great-horned-owl/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1582055018703.jpg)

The Great Horned Owl is the largest owl nesting in Tennessee and is easily identified by its large size, ear tufts and yellow eyes.  It is a nocturnal bird, common and widespread across North America from the arctic tundra, south through Mexico and Central America, and locally to Tierra del Fuego.

There is little evidence of an annual migration even among the northernmost populations.  Its very low pitched five to six note hooting makes the Great-horned Owl easiest to detect in December and January when they are establishing territories. Like the Barred Owl, the Great Horned Owl is sometimes called a "hoot owl."

Description: Sexes alike in plumage, but as with most birds of prey, the female is larger.  The Great Horned Owl is a large, bulky, brown owl with prominent ear tufts widely spaced on head, a white throat, tawny facial disk outlined in black, and yellow eyes.

The male's voice is lower-pitched than the female's.

Length: 22" (height)

Wingspan: 44"

Weight: 3.1 lbs.

Voice: Song is five or six low-pitched, quivering hoots translating as Are you awake? me, too.

Similar Species:

Long-eared Owls, a rare winter visitor to Tennessee, are slimmer, and have proportionately larger ear tufts that are closer together on the head.
Barred Owls have no ear tufts, and dark eyes.
Habitat: The Great Horned Owl uses the widest range of habitats of any North American owl and is found in desert, grassland, suburban areas, deciduous and coniferous forest habitats.

In Tennessee, it is found in areas of mixed fields and woodlands, including upland and bottomland forest, agricultural areas, and urban woodlands.

Diet: Broad range of prey items including rabbits, geese, herons, some smaller birds, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates, but mostly mammals. They are the only bird known to readily kill and eat skunks.

Nesting and reproduction: Great Horned Owls are the earliest nesting species in Tennessee with courtship beginning in late fall or early winter. Eggs are usually laid in January. Great Horned Owls do not begin nesting until they are two years old.

Clutch Size: 2 eggs, rarely up to 5.

Incubation: The female does most of the incubating that lasts 26 to 35 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young. They leave the nest at 5 weeks old but do not fly well until about 9 weeks old. They remain with the parents for up to 3 more months.

Nest: Great Horned Owls use a variety of nest sites, including trees, cliffs, buildings, and the ground. They often put nests in hollows or broken-off snags in trees and sometimes use the nests of other bird species. Nest height ranges from 30 to 50 feet above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: Fairly common permanent resident nesting throughout the state. Found in areas of mixed woodland and open habitat including upland and bottomland forest, agricultural areas, and urban woodlands.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 16, 2021, 09:40:33 AM
Great Horned Owlcontinued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/great-horned-owl/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582055015461.gif)

Fun Facts:

Although its eyes do not move, flexibility in the upper neck enables this owl to swivel its head more than 180° and to look in any direction.
They have modified flight feathers that make their flight nearly soundless.
The Great Horned Owl is the only animal that regularly eats skunks. They will also regularly kill and eat other species of owls.
Even though the female Great Horned Owl is larger than the male, it is the male that has a deeper voice.
Obsolete English Names: hoot owl, horned owl

Best places to see in Tennessee: Owls are never easy to see but can be located by their call in appropriate habitat statewide.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/great-horned-owl-003.jpg)


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/great-horned-owl-007.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/great-horned-owl-004.jpg)


Sources:

Houston, C. S., D. G. Smith, and C. Rohner. 1998. Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). The Birds of North America, No. 372 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 21, 2021, 11:28:57 AM
Barred Owl
Strix varia
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/barred-owl-002.jpg)

Barred Owls are highly vocal and their hooting call is often phrased as Who cooks for you, Who cooks for you all?  They are more active during the day than other Tennessee owls and will even call occasionally in the daytime.

Barred Owls are widespread in the eastern half of the United States and across central Canada to northern California. Like the Great Horned Owl, Barred Owls are sometimes referred to as "hoot owls."

Description: This stocky, round-headed, medium-sized gray-brown owl has no ear tufts and dark eyes.  The underparts are whitish with dark streaks, and the bill is dull yellow.  T

he sexes are alike in plumage, but the female is larger, even though the male has the lower-pitched voice.

Length: 17.5" (height)

Wingspan: 40"

Weight: 1.3 lbs.

Voice: The song is usually characterized as 8 or 9 clear hoots: who cooks for you, who cooks for you (all).

Similar Species:

Great Horned Owl has ear tufts and yellow eyes.
Habitat: Forested areas especially large blocks of bottomland forest and wooded swamps, but also in mature upland forest. Also, occurs in suburban neighborhoods where tracts of forest remain.

Diet: Small mammals, rabbits, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.

Nesting and reproduction: Barred Owls nest later than Great Horned Owls. Peak egg laying is in early March.

Clutch Size: 2 to 3 eggs, occasionally 1 to 5.

Incubation: The female does most of the 28 to 33 days of incubation.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young. They leave the nest at 4 to 5 weeks old but do not fly well until about 6 weeks. They remain with the parents for up to 3 more months.

Nest: Barred Owls prefer to nest in cavities in deciduous trees but occasionally will use open nests made by hawks, crows, or squirrels. They will also use nest boxes where cavities are limited. Nest heights range from 20 to 50 feet above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: Barred Owls are fairly common residents in Middle and West Tennessee, and less common in East Tennessee.  Their population is stable or increasing, but local declines have occurred in regions where large tracts of forest have been converted to pine plantations, or bottomland forest converted to agricultural production.

 
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 21, 2021, 11:30:14 AM
Barred Owl, continued
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/barred-owl-003.jpg)

Fun Facts:

This is the only owl in Tennessee with dark eyes.
The Barred Owl is able to hybridize with the endangered Northern Spotted Owl in the western United State. Recently the more aggressive Barred Owl has expanded westward into the range of the Northern Spotted Owl, further threatening that species.
Great Horned Owls are predators of Barred Owls. They often share the same habitat, but Barred Owls will avoid those areas occupied by a Great Horned Owl.
The oldest known Barred Owl in the wild was 18 years 3 months old.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Owls are never easy to see, but Barred Owls are easier than most because they can be active during the day. They can be found in appropriate woodland habitat statewide, and the Warner Parks and Radnor Lake State Park provide excellent opportunities for seeing Barred Owls in Middle Tennessee.

For more information:

The Owl Pages

Barred Owl Range Map
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/barred-owl/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1579206786556.gif)
Sources:
Mazur, K. M., and P. C. James. 2000. Barred Owl (Strix varia). The Birds of North America, No. 508 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 21, 2021, 11:32:42 AM
Common Nighthawk,
Chordeiles minor

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/common-nighthawk-003.jpg)

The name “Common Nighthawk” is a bit of a misnomer because this species is not a hawk and is most active at dawn and dusk, not at night.

Its distinctive bouncy, erratic flight is a familiar sight over urban areas and lighted ball fields on summer evenings.

This flight pattern may have reminded some of a large bat, hence the local name “bullbat.”

Nighthawks breed to the northern limit of forest in Canada, throughout the United States and south to Honduras.

The Common Nighthawk has among the longest migrations of any North American bird, wintering entirely in South America.

Description: This medium-sized bird has a large head, a tiny, but the wide bill, and its camouflaged brown mottled plumage makes it difficult to observe at rest.

In flight, wings are long, pointed, and bent, with a prominent white patch near the tip.

Sexes are similar in plumage, but the female has a smaller white wing patch, and lack the small white tail stripe of male.

Length: 9.5
Wingspan: 24"
Weight: 2.2 oz

Voice: A nasal, buzzy peent, heard at dawn and dusk, often while foraging.

Similar Species:

Chuck-will’s-widow and Whip-poor-will have larger heads, rounded tails, and long rounded wings with no white patches.
Habitat: Breeds in areas with exposed gravel or soil and few trees, and commonly on gravel rooftops. In Middle Tennessee, they are commonly found in cedar glades.

Diet: Flying insects

Nesting and reproduction: During the breeding season, the male makes a spectacular “booming” dive both during courtship and for territorial defense.

The male swoops down to within a few feet of the ground making a large sound as the wind vibrates through its flight feathers.

Clutch Size: Usually 2 eggs, occasionally one.

Incubation: The female incubates for 19 days.

Fledging: Both the female and male feed regurgitated insects to their chicks. Young begin flying at 23 days and remain dependent on adults for another week.

Nest: Eggs are laid directly on the ground, on gravel roofs, exposed rock in cedar glades, in pastures, or in plowed fields. No nesting material is used.

Status in Tennessee: The Common Nighthawk is a fairly common summer resident across the state.

It is present from late April through early October and is sometimes seen in large flocks during fall migration.

Populations have declined in recent years.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 21, 2021, 11:37:18 AM
Common Nighthawk, continued

Dynamic map of Common Nighthawk eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/common-nighthawk/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580332311884.gif)

Fun Facts:

Researchers have documented over 500 mosquitoes in the stomachs of individual Common Nighthawks.
The Common Nighthawk belongs to the Goatsucker Family, found in the Old and New World. This name is based on an ancient belief that these birds fed on goats' milk at night.
The oldest known Common Nighthawk in the wild was 10 years old.
Obsolete English Names: bull-bat, booming nighthawk

Best places to see in Tennessee: This bird can be seen over most large urban areas and many lighted ball fields across the state in summer. In summer, dozens may be seen flying through the lights over the pedestrian bridge by the football stadium in Nashville.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/common-nighthawk-007.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/common-nighthawk-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/common-nighthawk-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/common-nighthawk-004.jpg)

Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Poulin, R. G., S. D. Grindal, and R. M. Brigham. 1996. Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor). The Birds of North America, No. 213 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 24, 2021, 12:24:32 AM
Chimney Swift
Chaetura pelagica

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/chimney-swift-002.jpg)

Chimney Swifts once nested and roosted in hollow trees in old-growth forests.  When European settlers arrived, they greatly increased the number of potential nesting sites for swifts by putting chimneys on their buildings.

Now, Chimney Swifts only occasionally use trees.  These twittering, “flying-cigar” shaped gray birds are easy to identify as they fly over cities and suburbs catching flying insects. Chimney Swifts are most noticeable at dusk during migration when flocks numbering in the hundreds or thousands circle in tornado-like flocks above roost-chimneys and then suddenly descend, like reverse smoke, into the chimney to spend the night.

Chimney Swifts breed in the eastern half of North America and winter in South America. They usually arrive in Tennessee by late March and depart by mid-October. The name “chimney sweep” is still commonly used.

Description: Chimney Swifts are uniformly dark gray with long, narrow, curved wings, and a short tail, that is not obvious in flight. They are rarely seen perching. Male and female are alike in plumage.

Length: 5.25"

Wingspan: 14"

Weight: 0.81 oz

Voice: A high-pitched musical twittering given in flight.

Similar Species:

This is the only swift commonly found in eastern North America.
Swallows have broader triangular shaped wings, and a noticeable tail.
Habitat: Nests in variety of habitats, especially common in urban areas. Forages over open areas.

Diet: Flying insects

Nesting and reproduction: Only one pair will nest in a chimney, but unmated helpers may assist, and non-breeding individuals may also roost in the chimney at night.
Clutch Size: 4 or 5 eggs, range from 3 to 6.
Incubation: Male and female incubate for 19 to 20 days
Fledging: Both parents feed nestlings, which often leave the nest when 3 weeks old and cling to the chimney wall for a week before being able to fly.
Nest: Both parents build a half-cup of loosely woven twigs, cemented together and to the wall of the chimney, with the bird’s glue-like saliva. Pairs often use the same nest site in subsequent years.

Status in Tennessee: Common migrant and summer resident across the state, but most numerous in urban and suburban areas. They are present in Tennessee from late March or early April until mid-October. The population is declining rangewide, possibly because new style chimneys are less suitable for nest sites.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 24, 2021, 12:28:51 AM
Chimney Swift, continued

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Fun Facts:

The wintering range of the Chimney Swift was not discovered until 1943, when 13 bands were recovered from Indians in Peru. Eight of these bands came from birds that were banded in Tennessee. Over 108,000 swifts were banded in Tennessee between 1928 and 1944 at banding stations in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, Clarksville, and Memphis.
Chimney Swifts do not perch like other birds. They use their long claws to cling to the walls of chimneys, and use their stiff tail feathers as a prop.
Swifts spend their entire day in the air except when roosting or nesting. They even bathe in flight by swooping down and touching their breast feathers on the surface of the water.
The sound of swifts in a chimney sometimes causes alarm among homeowners, but by the time the calls of the nestlings are loud enough to be heard the nestlings have only a week or two before they will fledge. There will be only one active nest in a chimney, but a “helper” adult may also be present. On occasion, non-breeding individuals may roost in a chimney with an active nest.
The oldest known Chimney Swift in the wild was 14 years old.
Obsolete English Names: Chimney sweep, American swift, chimney bat

Best places to see in Tennessee: Chimney Swifts can be found in urban, suburban and rural settings statewide.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/chimney-swift-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/chimney-swift-009.jpg)
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/chimney-swift-005.jpg)
Sources:

Cink, C. L., and C. T. Collins. 2002. Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica). The Birds of North America, No. 646 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 24, 2021, 12:32:56 AM
Ruby-throated Hummingbird,
Archilochus colubris

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/ruby-throated-hummingbird-006.jpg)



The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only hummingbird breeding in eastern North America and is a familiar summer inhabitant of gardens, parks, and woodlands from mid-April to early October.

In the fall it flies nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of nearly 500 miles and taking 18 to 20 hours under favorable conditions, to winter in southern Mexico or northern Central America.  To accomplish this tremendous migration, a hummingbird will double its body mass by fattening on nectar and insects in the weeks prior to departure.

Description: This tiny bird has a long thin bill and an iridescent green back. Both the male and female are white below, but the male has a brilliant iridescent red gorget (throat) that can look black under certain lighting conditions.  Juveniles (June-September) look like the adult female, but juvenile males often develop a few red feathers in the gorget by the end of the summer.

Length: 3.75"
Wingspan: 4.5"
Weight: 0.11 oz

Voice: The song is a rapid series of high-pitched squeaky notes.

Similar Species:

No other hummingbird species breeds in Tennessee, but several Western species have been found in the state during the non-breeding season. They arrive anytime after late August and usually depart in April. As of 2008 a total of 7 Western species had been recorded: Rufous, Black-chinned, Allen's, Anna's, Calliope, and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, and one Green Violet-ear. Some of these birds have been banded, so we know that some individuals have returned to the same yard for several years in a row.
Habitat: Breeds in mixed woodlands and eastern deciduous forest, gardens, and orchards. Winters in tropical deciduous forest, tropical dry forests, scrubland, citrus groves, and second growth.

Diet: Flower nectar, small insects, and tree sap. Readily uses hummingbird feeders.

Nesting and reproduction: Males establish territories soon after they arrive in spring and will mate with several females. The male has no further role in nesting.

Clutch Size: 2 (pea-sized) eggs, rarely 1 or 3.

Incubation: The female alone incubates the eggs for 12 to16 days.

Fledging: The nestling period can vary from 14 to 31 days, probably due to the availability of food, 18 to 23 days is normal. When they leave the nest, the young are considerably larger than their mothers, and will be fed by her for another 10 days or so.

Nest: The walnut-sized open cup nest is built by the female on top of a small tree branch, often over a stream or other opening. The nest is made of thistle and dandelion down, held together with spider web, and covered on the outside with lichen. The nest will stretch to contain the growing nestlings, and may sometimes be reused (rebuilt) the following year.

Status in Tennessee: Common summer resident and migrant at all elevations across the state. The population is stable or slightly declining.


Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 24, 2021, 12:37:29 AM
Dynamic map of Ruby-throated Hummingbird eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/ruby-throated-hummingbird/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583193812739.gif)




Fun Facts:

In one yard in Nashville, 353 individual Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were banded between 8 June and 23 September 2008, including 13 recaptures (2 of these birds had originally been banded as adults in 2004) (S. Bivens pers. com).
The number of Western hummingbirds wintering in Tennessee appears to be increasing. Before the late ‘80s there was only one record of a Rufous Hummingbird. As of the winter of 2007-2008 there had been over 100 records. This is either because the actual numbers of hummingbirds is increasing or because more people are leaving their hummingbird feeders out into the fall and report birds that visit them.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird beats its wings an average of 53 times per second.
Though most hummingbird feeders are red, the location of a feeder is more important to hummingbirds than the color of the feeder.
The oldest known Ruby-throated Hummingbird was 9 years old.
Obsolete English Names: spinetail

Best places to see in Tennessee: Suburban neighborhoods with mature trees and shrubby cover nearby. They are found in all counties in Tennessee in spring and summer.

For more information:

The Hummer Bird Study Group and has plenty of information about attracting hummingbirds:

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/ruby-throated-hummingbird-004.jpg)

https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/ruby-throated-hummingbird-007.jpg


Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Robinson, T. R., R. R. Sargent and M. B. Sargent. 1996. Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 24, 2021, 12:41:58 AM

Belted Kingfisher
Megaceryle alcyon


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/belted-kingfisher.jpg)

The Belted Kingfisher is one of the most widespread landbirds in North America with a breeding range that extends from western Alaska, throughout Canada and in all states but the southwestern United States.

This bird excavates nesting cavities in riverbanks, but human activity such as road building and digging gravel pits, has created additional nesting habitat allowing kingfishers to expand their range into areas without suitable natural nest sites.

The kingfisher can often be seen perching or hovering over clear open water before suddenly diving for fish.  This species winters throughout the breeding range where there is open water.  Other individuals migrate south into Mexico, Central America, and very northern South American.

Description: This medium-sized bird has a large head, large, thick bill, and a shaggy crest. The head, back, and wings are bluish; the underparts are white with a bluish chest band. Females have an additional rust colored band and rusty flanks.

Length: 13"

Wingspan: 20"

Weight: 5 oz

Voice: The call is a loud, distinctive, raspy rattle.

Similar Species:

Blue Jays have a more pointed crest, a thin dark necklace instead of a broad chest band, and don't hunt fish.
Habitat: Kingfishers breed along streams, rivers, lakes, roadcuts, and quarries with earthen banks nearby for nest holes. They winter along rivers, streams, and lakes.

Diet: Kingfishers eat primarily fish, but also consume aquatic invertebrates, insects, and small vertebrates.

Nesting and reproduction: In Tennessee, breeding activities begin in March. Courtship involves high circling flights with prolonged rattling calls.

Clutch Size: 6 to 7 eggs, range 5 to 8.

Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for 23 to 24 days.

Fledging: The young fledge at 27 to 29 days, and are taught by their parents to fish. They will remain with their parents for approximately 3 weeks and are fed by them before dispersing.

Nest: Both sexes participate in excavating the burrow in an earthen bank near water. The male does most of the digging, using his bill and pushing the dirt out with his small feet. No lining is used. The burrows may be reused, but site tenacity is weak. Burrow length ranges from 1 to 8 feet.

Status in Tennessee: Fairly common permanent resident in all counties of the state. Occurs locally wherever there is relatively clear water with small fish, and nearby vertical earth banks for nesting. The population in Tennessee, and rangewide, has been declining in recent decades.

Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 24, 2021, 12:45:41 AM
Belted Kingfisher,    continued


(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/belted-kingfisher/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1579210085021.gif)

Fun Facts:

The Belted Kingfisher is one of the few bird species where the female is more brightly colored than the male.
The breeding territory of a Belted Kingfisher pair is along a stream and includes just the streambed and the vegetation along it. Territories average 0.6 miles long.
Belted Kingfishers have been known to share their tunnels with swallows. The swallows dig out small rooms tucked in the tunnel walls.
Undigested remains of prey are regurgitated as pellets, which fall beneath fishing and roosting perches. This makes the study of diet possible without collecting the birds or directly observing their foraging behavior.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/belted-kingfisher-002.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/belted-kingfisher-006.jpg)

Best places to see in Tennessee: Most open water lakes, streams, and ponds in Tennessee.

Sources:
Kelly, J.F., E.S. Bridge and M.J. Hamas. 2009. Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2001. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 10:54:36 AM
Red-headed Woodpecker
Melanerpes erythrocephalus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-headed-woodpecker-003.jpg)
The Red-headed Woodpecker is a dramatically patterned bird.  At rest and in-flight its bright red head contrasts with its bold black and white wings. In addition to eating nuts and berries, this woodpecker is an expert at catching flying insects and is one of the few woodpeckers that will cache (store) food for the winter months.

It breeds from south-central Canada across the eastern United States and withdraws to the southern portion of its range in the non-breeding season. The number of individuals wintering in an area varies greatly from year to year and may depend on food availability. The Red-headed Woodpecker is a year round resident in Tennessee and is most common in the western portion of the state, especially in winter.

Description: This medium-sized woodpecker is the only woodpecker with a completely red head.  That red head and its black wings with large white panels make it an easy species to identify at rest or in flight.

The chest and rump are white, while the tail is black with white outer feathers. The male and female are identical in appearance. The juvenile (July-February) has a similar pattern to the adults, but the head is brown at first, gradually becoming red during the winter.

Length: 9.25"
Wingspan: 17"
Weight: 2.5 oz

Voice: The call is a slightly trilled churr churr churr, and a husky chatter. It also has a bold queerpnote, that is less vibrant than a Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Similar Species:

Red-bellied Woodpeckers only have red on the back of the head and have a back that is barred with black and white.
Habitat: Breeds in open deciduous woodlands, river bottoms, groves of dead and dying trees, orchards, parks, and open wooded swamps with dead trees and stumps. Attracted to burns and recent clearings. Winters in the mature bottomland hardwood forest and upland forest, especially those with oaks.

Diet: This is a most omnivorous woodpecker eating beech and oak mast, seeds, berries, fruit, insects, bird eggs, nestlings, and mice. Regularly caches food in winter for later consumption.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 10:54:50 AM
Red-headed Woodpecker, continued

Nesting and reproduction: Red-headed Woodpeckers start nesting in late April or early May, which is later than other Tennessee woodpeckers. They may have two broods in a season.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 to 5 eggs. Range: 3 to 7

Incubation: Both the male and female incubate the eggs for 12 to 13 days.

Fledging: The young leave the nest at 27 to 30 days.

Nest: Nests in holes in dead trees or in dead branches, preferring snags with little bark remaining. Red-headed Woodpeckers will occupy an existing cavity or dig a new one. It may take as little as 2 or 3 days to excavate a new cavity.

Status in Tennessee: Common to locally abundant year-round in West Tennessee and less common in the rest of the state. More northerly nesters join resident birds in winter. The Red-headed Woodpecker is declining in Tennessee, as it is over much of its breeding range, and competition with European Starlings for nest cavities may be partly responsible.

Dynamic map of Red-headed Woodpecker eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/red-headed-woodpecker/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583109048071.gif)


Fun Facts:

The Red-headed Woodpecker stores food to be eaten later. It hides insects and seeds in cracks in wood, under bark, and in fence posts, hammering acorns into crevices so tightly that other animals (especially Blue Jays) cannot remove them.
This woodpecker was a war symbol of the Cherokee Indians, and its head was used as a battle ornament, particularly by Plains tribes.
The oldest reported Red-headed Woodpecker in the wild was 9 years 11 months old.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 10:55:05 AM
Red-headed Woodpecker, continued

Best places to see in Tennessee: Populations of this woodpecker are scattered and somewhat unpredictable. Some likely places to find them include Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park (especially in winter), and Catoosa WMA (specifically the savannah restoration area year round). Cedar Hill Swamp WMA, in Middle Tennessee, has a population that are readily found.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-headed-woodpecker-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-headed-woodpecker-004.jpg)

Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Smith, K. G., J.H. Withgott and P.G. Rodewald. 2000. Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus), The Birds of North America, No. 518 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 11:02:21 AM
Red-bellied Woodpecker
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-bellied-woodpecker-002.jpg)

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is a regular visitor to bird feeders and is easily identified by the black and white barred pattern on its back and the red patch on the back of the head.  The name confuses many people because the "red" on the belly is faint and very difficult to see.

In Tennessee it is often mistakenly called a Red-headed Woodpecker, especially in areas where the true Red-headed Woodpecker (a bird with a completely red head) is uncommon.  The Red-bellied Woodpecker is found only in the eastern United States and is most common in the southeastern states.  While not considered migratory, birds at the northern edge of the range may move farther south in very cold winters.

Description: This medium-sized woodpecker has red on the back of the head and neck, a black and white barred back, and a white rump.  The face and underparts are pale gray, and the belly is washed with a light red (difficult to see).

The male and female can be distinguished by the extent of the red hood. In males the red extends from the base of the bill to the back of the neck; in females the red starts at the top of the head and extends to the back of the neck.

Length: 9.25"
Wingspan: 16"
Weight: 2.2 oz

Voice: The call is a trill, along with short chupp chupp chupp notes that often accelerate towards the end.

Similar Species:

Red-headed Woodpecker has a completely red head, neck, face, and throat; the back has bold black and white patches with no barring.
Habitat: Lives in a variety of dry or damp forests (deciduous or pine) and in suburban areas.

Diet: The Red-bellied Woodpecker seldom excavates wood for insects. Instead, depending on the season, it forages opportunistically on a wide range of fruit, mast, seeds, and arboreal arthropods. It occasionally eats lizards, tree frogs, small fish, nestling birds and eggs, and frequently visits bird feeders, especially suet feeders.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 11:02:30 AM
Red-bellied Woodpecker, continued

Nesting and reproduction: Red-bellied Woodpeckers maintain their territories throughout the year. Nest building begins in late March or early April.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 eggs, with a range of 3 to 6.

Incubation: Both adults incubated the eggs for 12 to 14 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which leave the nest at 24 to 27 days.

Nest: The male does most of the excavation of the nest in hole, which is usually placed in a dead tree or dead limb. Eggs are laid on wood chips left from excavation. The average nest height in Tennessee is 27 feet.

Status in Tennessee: The Red-bellied Woodpecker is an abundant year round resident throughout the state and occupies all types of low-elevation forest. Their numbers are stable or slightly increasing.

Dynamic map of Red-bellied Woodpecker eBird observations in Tennessee

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/red-bellied-woodpecker/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583109026398.gif)

Fun Facts:

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is able to compete against other woodpeckers for nest holes, but it is often evicted by the European Starling. In some areas, half of all Red-bellied Woodpecker nesting cavities are taken over by starlings.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers will store food in cracks and crevices of trees and fence posts.
The tongue of the male Red-bellied Woodpecker has a wider tip than the female, and the bill is slightly longer. This may allow the male to obtain food that is unavailable to the female and thereby divide up the resources in one area.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers are attracted to noises that resonate. The male may tap loudly on metal gutters, aluminum roofs, and even on vehicles to attract a mate.
The oldest record of a Red-bellied Woodpecker in the wild was 12 years 1 month old.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 11:02:44 AM
Red-bellied Woodpecker, continued

Obsolete English Names: zebra woodpecker, red-headed woodpecker

Best places to see in Tennessee: Found in most forests at lower elevations statewide.


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-bellied-woodpecker-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-bellied-woodpecker-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-bellied-woodpecker-005.jpg)

Sources:
Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Shackelford, C.E., R.E. Brown and R.N. Conner. 2000. Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus), The Birds of North America, No. 500 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 11:10:13 AM
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,
Sphyrapicus varius

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/yellow-bellied-sapsucker/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1583271586954.jpg)

The horizontal lines of feeding holes in tree trunks made by the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker are likely more familiar to people than the woodpecker itself.  The sapsucker feeds on the sap that flows into these holes and it maintains them daily to ensure sap production.

This woodpecker is fairly common in Tennessee during the non-breeding season but is one of the rarest breeding birds in the state as it is restricted to a small area in the high-elevation forests near the North Carolina border.

The breeding range of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker extends across Canada to the northeastern United States, with an isolated population in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. It migrates to the southeastern states southward to Panama and the West Indies in winter.

Description: The most distinguishing field characteristic of this medium-sized woodpecker is the vertical white stripe running down its side.  The head has a bold pattern with the forehead and crown red, bordered by black, and a black and white stripe on the face.

The upper chest is black, the belly is yellowish, and the back has messy black and whitish barring. The sexes can be distinguished with the male having a red throat, while the female has a white throat. The juveniles (July-March) have similar plumage to the adult, but lacks red on the head, and is brown where the adult is black. 

Length: 8.5"
Wingspan: 16"
Weight: 1.8 oz

Voice: The call is a nasal down-slurred mew. The drumming of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a distinctive series of 5 rapid taps followed by slowing taps.

Similar Species:

No other woodpeckers have a vertical white stripe on the side.
Habitat:

Breeds in young forests and along streams, especially in aspen and birch.
Winters in a variety of forests, especially semi-open woods.
Diet: Sap, fruit, arthropods. Also eats tree cambium.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 11:10:23 AM
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,, continued


Nesting and reproduction: Male and female show strong territorial fidelity year after year.

Clutch Size: 5 to 6 eggs range from 3 to 7.

Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for 12 to 13 days.

Fledging: Nestlings leave the nest after 25 to 29 days. They are fed insects, often mixed with sap, by both parents. The young begin feeding on sap in about 2 weeks and stay with the adults for several more weeks.

Nest: A new cavity is excavated each year and takes about 3 weeks to complete. The same tree is frequently used in subsequent years.

Status in Tennessee: The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is fairly common across the state during the winter, but is an extremely rare breeder. Tennessee is at the southern limit of the breeding range and it is generally found between 3,400 and 4,600 feet elevation in the high mountains of Johnson, Carter, Unicoi and possibly Greene Counties.

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is listed as a bird In-Need-of-Management in the state due to its limited breeding distribution. The number of breeding pairs of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has declined in recent years and there have been few recent breeding season records.
Dynamic map of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker eBird observations in Tennessee

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/yellow-bellied-sapsucker/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583271587970.gif)

Fun Facts:

The isolated population of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina is considered a distinct subspecies called the Appalachian Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius appalachiensis.
The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is the only migratory woodpecker in eastern North America. Some individuals spend the summer in the southern part of the breeding range but the majority travel to Central America. Females tend to migrate farther south than do males.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds appears to have a close relationship with sapsuckers. They sometimes place their nest near a tree with sap wells and either feed on the sap or the insects that are attracted to the sap. They may even time their migration to coincide with that of sapsuckers.
As with other species of woodpecker, the nest cavities that Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers excavate often provide nesting or roost sites for other species of birds and even some mammals (e.g., northern flying squirrel) that cannot excavate their own cavities.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 11:10:38 AM
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,, continued

Best places to see in Tennessee: In winter this woodpecker can be found in lower elevation forests across the state. During the breeding season, it might be found in the highest elevations of Johnson, Carter, Unicoi and possibly Greene Counties, near the North Carolina border. One site, in particular, is Sam's Gap in Unicoi County.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-bellied-sapsucker-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-bellied-sapsucker-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-bellied-sapsucker-005.jpg)


Sources:

Knight, R. L. 2008. The Birds of Northeast Tennessee. Universal Printing, Bristol, VA.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Walters, E.L., E.H. Miller and P.E. Lowther. 2002. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius ), The Birds of North America, No. 662 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 11:18:33 AM
Downy Woodpecker,
Picoides pubescens

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/downy-woodpecker-003.jpg)

The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest and one of the most widespread woodpeckers in North America.  It can be found year-round in forests from coast to coast and from Alaska to southern Florida. It is equally at home in urban woodlots as wilderness forests and is readily attracted to backyard bird feeders.

Description: This small black-and-white woodpecker is white below, has a plain white back, and black wings with white spotting.  The tail is black with outer tail feathers that are black-spotted or barred white.

The face is white with black stripes, and the bill is black and short.  Males and female are easily distinguished; the male has a red patch on the back of the head, and the female does not.

Length: 6.75"
Wingspan: 12"
Weight: 0.95 oz

Voice: Song is a rapid downward whinny of notes. Call is a soft quick pik.

Similar Species:

Hairy Woodpecker is very similar in plumage, but is larger and has a proportionately larger bill (see link below). They give an even-pitched rattle song, and a stronger sharper peek call note.
Habitat: In Tennessee the Downy Woodpecker is found in all forest types, but is somewhat less common in pine forests and at high elevations. It is commonly seen in backyards and readily visits bird feeders, especially suet feeders.

Diet: Downy Woodpeckers use their bills to drill into trees and dig out insects like beetles, wasps, moths and insect larvae. They will also drink sap from Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers holes. In Tennessee they are occasionally seen foraging on dead corn stalks in fall and winter.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 11:18:43 AM
Downy Woodpecker, , continued

Nesting and reproduction: Males maintain territories throughout the year. Breeding behavior begins in late winter with the male and female drumming in response to one another. The female chooses the nest site and the male does most of the cavity excavation.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 to 5 eggs, with a range of 3 to 6. In Tennessee, egg laying peaks in mid- to late April.

Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for about 12 days.

Fledging: Both parents care for the chicks, which fledge in 20 to 25 days. They remain dependent on the parents for another 3 weeks.

Nest: A new nest is made annually, usually in the trunk of a dead tree or the dead branch of a live tree. The nest takes 13 to 20 days to complete. The average nest height in Tennessee is 17 feet above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: The Downy Woodpecker is probably the most abundant woodpecker found throughout the state. The population appears stable.

Dynamic map of Downy Woodpecker eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/downy-woodpecker/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580408211965.gif)


Fun Facts:

Foraging techniques vary with sex; males tend to forage more on smaller branches in the upper canopy; females more on larger branches and trunks of trees. Males appear to keep the females from foraging in the more productive spots. When males were experimentally removed from a woodlot, the females shifted their foraging to the smaller branches.
Each bird excavates a winter roost cavity.
American colonial naturalist Mark Catesby (1683-1749) named this woodpecker. "Downy" refers to the soft white feathers of the white lower back, in contrast to the similar, but more hair-like feathers of the Hairy Woodpecker.
The oldest known Downy Woodpecker in the wild was 11 years 11 months old.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 11:18:54 AM
Downy Woodpecker, , continued

Obsolete English Names: willow woodpecker

Best places to see in Tennessee: Nearly all forests statewide, excluding some high elevations in East Tennessee and pine plantations.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/downy-woodpecker-007.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/downy-woodpecker-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/downy-woodpecker-005.jpg)

Sources:

Jackson, J. A., and H. R. Ouellet. 2002. Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens). The Birds of North America, No. 613 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 06:50:11 PM
Hairy Woodpecker,
Picoides villosus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/hairy-woodpecker-005.jpg)
The larger of two 'look-a-likes'.

The Hairy Woodpecker is a powerful woodpecker and usually forages on the truck and main branches of large trees in mature forests.  It is the most widespread resident woodpecker in North America, but not as abundant or familiar as the smaller similar-appearing Downy Woodpecker.

The Hairy Woodpecker is non-migratory and ranges across North America south to Central America. In residential areas with large trees, this woodpecker often visits birdfeeders. The Hairy Woodpecker's name is derived from the long, filamentous white or whitish feathers in the middle of its back, but this is not a good characteristic to use to identify this bird in the field

Description: This medium-sized black-and-white woodpecker is white below, has a plain white back and black wings with white spotting.  The tail is black in the center with white outer tail feathers.

The face is white with black stripes, and the bill is black, thick, and nearly as long as the head. Males and females are easily distinguished; the male has a red patch on the back of the head, and the female does not.

Length: 9.25"
Wingspan: 15"
Weight: 2.3 oz.
Voice: The song is a short even-pitched rattle. The call is a strong sharp peek.

Similar Species:

Downy Woodpeckers are very similar in plumage, but are smaller, and have a proportionately smaller bill (see link below). Their song is a rapid downward whinny of notes, and the call is a soft quick pik. The Hairy and Downy call-notes are distinguishable with practice.
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have smudgy barring in the white on the back and a white stripe on the side.
Habitat: Found in most forest types in Tennessee, but tends to occur in larger, more mature woodlands than the smaller and similar appearing Downy Woodpecker. Studies have shown that Hairy Woodpeckers are attracted to forests that have recently burned, probably due to increased food resources in dead and dying trees. They also occur in residential areas with large trees and visit bird feeders, especially suet feeders.

Diet: Insects and other arthropods, fruits, and seeds. Males tend to forage higher than females in winter.

Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 06:51:55 PM
Hairy Woodpecker,, continued

Nesting and reproduction: Hairy Woodpecker pairs maintain territories throughout the year and may remain mated for several years. Breeding behavior begins in late fall with the male and female drumming in response to one another.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 to 5 eggs, with a range of 3 to 6. In Tennessee, egg laying is usually mid- to late April.

Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for about 11 to 12 days.

Fledging: Both parents care for the young, which fledge in 28 to 30 days. They remain dependent on the parents for several more weeks.

Nest: The pair usually excavates a new nest annually in the trunk of a dead tree. The nest takes 7 to 24 days to complete. The average nest height in Tennessee is 20 feet above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: This woodpecker is an uncommon permanent resident across the state. It is not as numerous, nor as tame, as the Downy Woodpecker. Population appears stable.

Dynamic map of Hairy Woodpecker eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/hairy-woodpecker/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582055433798.gif)

Fun Facts:

The Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers occur together throughout most of their ranges. The Downy Woodpecker uses smaller branches, while the Hairy Woodpecker tends to spend more time on the trunk.
The Hairy Woodpecker is attracted to foraging Pileated Woodpeckers and will take insects in the deep excavations that the Pileated missed.
The oldest recorded Hairy Woodpecker in the wild was 15 years 10 months old.
Obsolete English Names: Cabanis' woodpecker

Best places to see in Tennessee: Found in large tracts of forest with large trees across the state.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 25, 2021, 06:53:55 PM
Hairy Woodpecker, continued
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/hairy-woodpecker-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/hairy-woodpecker-006.jpg)
Sources:

Jackson, J. A., H. R. Ouellet, and B. J. S. Jackson. 2002. Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus). The Birds of North America, No. 702 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 26, 2021, 03:50:46 PM
Northern Flicker
Colaptes auratus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-flicker-002.jpg)

Northern Flickers are unlike most other Tennessee woodpeckers in that they are primarily brown instead of black and white, and often feed on the ground.  In fact Northern Flickers eat more ants than any other bird in North America.

They are easy to identify, especially on the wing, with their strong undulating flight and prominent white rump.  Northern Flickers are found across North America from the northern extent of forest in Alaska and Canada, to Cuba and Central America.  The northernmost birds migrate south in winter.

This woodpecker was formerly called the Yellow-shafted Flicker in the East and the Red-shafted Flicker in the West because of their distinctly colored wing-linings. They are now recognized as belonging to the same species.

Description: This medium to large woodpecker is overall brownish with barring on its back, clear round spots on its breast, and a black crescent on its chest.  In flight the white rump is conspicuous, as are the yellow wing-linings (red in western birds).

Eastern birds also have a red crescent on the nape of the neck. Males and females are similar but only males have a black mustache stripe on the face (red in western birds).

Length: 12.5"
Wingspan: 20"
Weight: 4.6 oz

Voice: The territorial call is a long series of wick wick wick notes, rising and falling in volume and lasting 7 or 8 seconds. This call is similar to the call of the Pileated Woodpecker. Northern Flickers also make a loud kyeer note.

Similar Species:

The Pileated Woodpecker call resembles that of the Northern Flicker wick wick wick call, but is louder and changes in pitch, and rhythm.
No other Tennessee woodpecker has the combination of overall brown coloration with bright white rump.
Habitat: Northern Flickers are found in open woodlands, forest edges, including cities and suburbs, and will visit backyard bird feeders. They nest in almost all forest types found in Tennessee.

Diet: Mostly ants but also beetle larvae, and during late autumn, winter and early spring, a variety of berries.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 26, 2021, 03:53:18 PM
Northern Flickercontinued

Nesting and reproduction: Males and females vigorously defend the space around their nest tree but do not defend a feeding territory, probably because their food sources are not economically defendable.

Clutch Size: 4 to 8 eggs.

Incubation: The male incubates the eggs more than the female, and the eggs hatch in 11 to 14 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young regurgitated food. They leave the nest after 24 to 28 days and remain with the parents for a few additional weeks.

Nest: Northern Flickers frequently reuse a nest cavity from a previous year. Males do most of the excavation of new cavities in a dead tree or the dead limb of a live tree. They will occasionally dig cavities in wooden utility poles and fence posts. Excavation time is about 12 days. Nest heights in Tennessee have been recorded from 4 to 45 feet with an average of 18 feet. Competition for cavities with European Starlings is common.

Status in Tennessee: Northern Flickers are a fairly common permanent resident, and are more numerous in the winter due to the arrival of migrants from northern breeding areas. Numbers in Tennessee are declining, possibly due to competition with the European Starling for nest cavities.

Dynamic map of Northern Flicker eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/northern-flicker/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582757672804.gif)
Fun Facts:

More than any other woodpecker, Northern Flickers forage on the ground. Very few birds eat ants, but they are a favorite food of flickers and they will dig in the dirt to find them.
Northern Flickers have been known to cause property damage by drilling holes in wood and synthetic stucco siding, and eaves of houses.
Woodpeckers "drum" to attract mates, and to establish and/or defend a territory. This can be annoying to people when the drumming is on or near houses. Northern Flickers often select wooden shingles, cedar or redwood siding, metal or plastic gutters, television antennas, chimney caps, and light posts because these materials produce loud sounds. Drumming is most common in the spring during early morning and late afternoon and usually ends by July 1. (See below for control methods.)
The oldest known Northern Flicker in the wild was 9 years 2 months old.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 26, 2021, 03:56:20 PM
Northern Flicker,  continued

Obsolete English Names: yellow-shafted flicker, southern flicker, yellowhammer, golden-winged woodpecker

Best places to see in Tennessee: Every county in the state.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-flicker-007.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-flicker-008.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-flicker-006.jpg)

Sources:

Moore, W. S. 1995. Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus). The Birds of North America, No. 166 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 26, 2021, 03:59:37 PM
Pileated Woodpecker,
Dryocopus pileatus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/pileated-woodpecker-004.jpg)

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America (with the exception of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker).

Its loud ringing calls and distinctive plumage make it a familiar bird in rural Tennessee.

The Pileated Woodpecker is non-migratory and can be found in deciduous and coniferous forests across the eastern half of the United States, central Canada, and south to California.

Description: This crow-sized bird has a black body, a red crest on its head, and a broad white stripe on the face extending from the base of the bill down the neck.

In flight, the top of the wing shows a patch of white at the base of the primaries, the underwing linings are white, and the trailing edge of the wing is black.

The bill is thick and silvery gray. The sexes are similar; however, the male has a red crown and forehead and red in the black mustache stripe.

The female has a gray to the yellow-brown forehead and no red in the mustache stripe.

Length: 16.5"
Wingspan: 29"
Weight: 10 oz

Voice: The call is a boisterous outburst of notes changing in pitch, loudness, and rhythm.

Similar Species:

Northern Flicker calls resemble those of the Pileated, but are more monotonous and do not change pitch, volume, or rhythm.
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is generally similar in appearance but is larger and has a pale white bill. At rest, the large white patches on the wing are very obvious, while the wings of a perched Pileated Woodpecker are black. In flight, the trailing edge of the wing of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker is white and black in the Pileated Woodpecker. Ivory-billed Woodpeckers have NEVER been adequately documented in Tennessee. (See links below for more information about distinguishing these two species.)
Habitat: Found in largely forested regions of deciduous or coniferous forests with large trees.

Diet: Insects, primarily carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae, fruits, and nuts.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 26, 2021, 04:01:29 PM
Pileated Woodpecker,, continued

Nesting and reproduction: Long-term monogamous pairs stay together on territories year round. Egg laying in Tennessee occurs from early April to early May.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 eggs, with a range of 3 to 5.

Incubation: Both sexes typically incubate the eggs for about 15 to 18 days.

Fledging: Both adults regurgitate food for the young, which leave the nest after 24 to 28 days, but may stay with the parents for another 2 to 3 months.

Nest: The same nest tree may be used for several consecutive years, but a new nest cavity is excavated every year.

Both adults dig the nest usually in the main trunk of a tall dead tree, and excavation can take up to 6 weeks to complete.

In Tennessee nest heights range from 18 to 85 feet with an average of 35 feet above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: Fairly common permanent resident throughout the state. Populations appear to be stable or increasing.

Dynamic map of Pileated Woodpecker eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/pileated-woodpecker/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583106773615.gif)
Fun Facts:

Pileated Woodpeckers play an important role within their ecosystems by excavating cavities that are subsequently used by many other species including birds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.
The oldest known Piliated Woodpecker in the wild was 12 years 11 months old.
Obsolete English Names: log-cock, black woodcock

Best places to see in Tennessee: Found in woodlands across the state.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 26, 2021, 04:04:05 PM
Pileated Woodpecker, continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/pileated-woodpecker-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/pileated-woodpecker-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/pileated-woodpecker-008.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/pileated-woodpecker-009.jpg)

Sources:

Bull, E. L., and J. A. Jackson. 1995. Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). In The Birds of North America, No. 148 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 26, 2021, 04:08:02 PM
American Kestrel
 Falco sparverius
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/american-kestrel/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1579186744601.jpg)

Formerly known as the Sparrow Hawk, the American Kestrel is the smallest, most colorful, and most widespread North American falcon. It breeds from Alaska and Canada to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

It is seen more often than other hawks because in addition to inhabiting wild areas, they frequent towns and agricultural lands, hunting from exposed perches like utility lines along roadsides. The American Kestrel spends the non-breeding season in the southern portion of the breeding range from the Canadian border southward.

Description: This small falcon has long pointed wings and a long tail. The male American Kestrel is very colorful and one of the most beautiful hawks in North America. The head is brightly patterned with two dark mustache marks on the face and "eye spots" on back of the head. The back and tail are rust colored, and the blue-gray wings and pale chest have black spots. The female is bright brown with black barring on the back and tail. She also has a boldly patterned head but not as colorful as the male's. The female is 10% heavier than the male. Juvenile birds look similar to adults.

Length: 9"
Wingspan: 22"
Weight: 4.1 oz.

Similar Species:

Merlins are slightly larger, lack rust color on the back, wings, and tail, and lack a well-defined head pattern. They also have a much more powerful and direct flight pattern than American Kestrels. Merlins are an uncommon migrant and rare winter resident in Tennessee.
Habitat: Open areas such as croplands, pastures, and along roadsides. Often found near areas of human activity.

Diet: American Kestrels eat large insects, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. They will sometimes hover several feet above the ground while hunting.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 26, 2021, 04:10:12 PM
American Kestrel, continued

Nesting and reproduction: American Kestrels nest in cavities, but they do not excavate their own holes. The availability of cavities may limit the population.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 to 5 eggs, with a range of 1 to 7 eggs.

Incubation: Both males and females incubate the eggs for 29 to 31 days.

Fledging: Young begin hunting shortly after leaving the nest at 30 to 31 days, with the parents continuing to feed them for another 2 weeks.

Nest: American Kestrels nest in cavities in trees, buildings, and in nest boxes. No material is added to the nest hole. Nest Box Instructions here.

Status in Tennessee: The American Kestrel is a relatively common statewide resident. More northerly nesting birds join Tennessee's resident population from October through April. Populations are generally decreasing rangewide and likely so in Tennessee.

Dynamic map of American Kestrel eBird observations in Tennessee

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/american-kestrel/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1579186745556.gif)
Fun Facts:

"Hover-hunting," often seen along roadsides, is used most often when there are no suitable perches available.
The females arrive first on the wintering grounds and establish their territories in the preferred open areas. The males, arriving later are forced to use areas with more trees.
Nestlings squirt their feces onto the walls of the nest cavity. The feces dry on the cavity walls and stay off the nestlings.
The oldest known American Kestrel in the wild was 14 years, 8 months old.
Obsolete English Names: sparrow hawk, Dixie kestrel

Best places to see in Tennessee: Open lands statewide where they perch on roadside telephone poles and power lines.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 26, 2021, 04:14:19 PM
American Kestrel, continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/american-kestrel-007.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/american-kestrel-003.jpg)

(http://[https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/american-kestrel-004.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/american-kestrel-006.jpg)

Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN

Smallwood, John A. and David M. Bird. 2002. American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online:
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 30, 2021, 01:48:16 AM
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Contopus virens

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/eastern-wood-pewee/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1580853842059.jpg)
The Eastern Wood-Pewee is one of those birds that has the good manners to say its name.  The plaintive ascending and then descending pee-ah-wee phrase can be heard throughout the day during the summer in the eastern United States

The bird itself is quite inconspicuous as it hawks insects from high in the canopy.   The Eastern Wood-Pewee breeds from southeastern Canada across the eastern states and migrates to northwestern South America during the winter.

Description: This medium-sized olive-gray flycatcher is pale below with a darker wash on the breast and sides.   It has dull whitish wingbars and a dark bill with a yellow base on the lower mandible.

This flycatcher has a very upright posture and will often repeatedly return to the same prominent perch when fly-catching.

Males and females are alike in plumage.

Length: 6.25"

Wingspan: 10"

Weight: 0.49 oz

Voice: This flycatcher says its name with an ascending and then descending pee-ah-wee.

Similar Species:

Eastern Phoebes characteristically wag their tails, have an all-dark bill, and only indistinct wing bars or they lack them entirely.
The Eastern Wood-Pewee is distinguished from all Empidonax flycatchers by their dark face with weak partial eye-ring, dusky vest, and grayish smudges on their under tail coverts.
Olive-sided Flycatchers, present in Tennessee as migrants, have more indistinct wingbars, and larger and darker patches on the side of the breast that contrast strongly with a white center. They occasionally show white tufts on the sides of the rump.
Habitat: Found in deciduous or coniferous woodlands and woodland edges, but also urban shade trees, roadsides, woodlots, and orchards to mature forest.

Diet: Flying insects.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 30, 2021, 01:51:15 AM
Eastern Wood-Pewee, continued

Nesting and reproduction: The Eastern Wood-Pewee does not begin nest construction until mid-May.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 eggs, with a range of 2 to 4.

Incubation: The female incubates for 12 to 13 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge at 15 to 18 days.

Nest: The female builds the shallow cup-nest on a horizontal branch away from the trunk. Nest heights in Tennessee range from 6 to 45 feet, with an average of 20 feet above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: This is likely the most common flycatcher in Tennessee. It can be found during the breeding season statewide, arriving in late April and departing by early October.  The population is possibly stable in Tennessee, but it is decreasing range-wide.



(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/eastern-wood-pewee/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580853842552.gif)

Fun Facts:

In a forest where several flycatcher species are found, the Eastern Wood-Pewee forages higher in the trees than the Least and Acadian Flycatchers, but lower down than the Great Crested Flycatcher.
One potential cause of the decline of Eastern Wood-Pewee populations is the overpopulation of white-tailed deer in the Eastern forests. In areas with high deer density, the intermediate canopy is disturbed by browsing, affecting the foraging space of the flycatcher.
The oldest known Eastern Wood-Pewee in the wild was 7 years, 1 month old.
Best places to see in Tennessee: This species is found in woodlands in every county in the state.


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-wood-pewee-004.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-wood-pewee-006.jpg)


Sources:

McCarty, J. P. 1996. Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens). In The Birds of North America, No. 245 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.



Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 30, 2021, 01:58:58 AM
Eastern Phoebe
Sayornis phoebe

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-phoebe-006.jpg)

his is likely the most familiar flycatcher in Tennessee due to its habit of nesting on buildings and bridges. The Eastern Phoebe characteristically pumps its tail up and down and the fee-bee call will remind you of its name.

It breeds from western Canada eastward to the Atlantic Coast, and southward to central Texas and central Georgia.  The winter range extends from Maryland to eastern Mexico, and along the Gulf Coast to Florida.   The Eastern Phoebe is present in Tennessee year round but is less numerous in the winter as some individuals migrate further south.

Description: This small songbird sits upright and often pumps its tail, especially after landing. It is dark grayish brown above, and has whitish underparts that may be washed with yellow. The Eastern Phoebe has no eyering or conspicuous wingbars. males and females look alike.

Length: 7"
Wingspan: 10.5"
Weight: 0.7 oz

Voice: The song is a slightly burry two-noted fee-bee. The call note is a flat toneless chip.

Similar Species:

Eastern Wood-Pewees don't wag their tails, and they have distinct wingbars.
Empidonax flycatchers have distinct wingbars, usually have a distinct eyering, and also don't wag their tails.
Habitat: Found in woodlands and along forest edges with rock cliffs. Also rural and agricultural areas where it nests on houses, barns and under bridges.

Diet: Flying insects, occasional small fruits.

Nesting and reproduction: Eastern Phoebes are typically double brooded, keeping the same mate for both broods. Egg laying typically extends from late March to late June.

Clutch Size: 5 eggs, with a range of 2 to 6.

Incubation: Females incubate the eggs for 16 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which leave the nest in 16 to 18 days.

Nest: The female builds a mud and moss nest either on a horizontal surface or attached to a vertical surface of natural or human-made structures. Natural nest sites include under overhanging rock ledges or inside the mouth of caves.

Status in Tennessee: Common breeder across the state generally increasing from west to east. They are present throughout the year, though many migrate further south in winter. Their numbers are stable or possibly increasing in the state.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 30, 2021, 02:01:29 AM
Eastern Phoebe, continued

Dynamic map of Eastern Phoebe eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/eastern-phoebe/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580853414098.gif)

Fun Facts:

In 1804 the Eastern Phoebe became the first banded bird in North America. John James Audubon attached a silvered thread to an Eastern Phoebe's leg to track its return in successive years.
The use of buildings and bridges for nest sites has allowed the Eastern Phoebe to expand its range. However, it still uses natural nest sites when they are available.
The oldest known Eastern Phoebe in the wild was 10 years, 11 months old.
Best places to see in Tennessee: They are found year round near suitable nesting sites in every county in the state.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 30, 2021, 02:03:43 AM
Eastern Phoebe, continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-phoebe-010.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-phoebe-002.jpg)
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-phoebe-007.jpg)

Sources:

Weeks, H. P., Jr. 1994. Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe). In The Birds of North America, No. 94 (A. Poole, and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 30, 2021, 02:05:43 AM
Great Crested Flycatcher
Myiarchus crinitus
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/great-crested-flycatcher-004.jpg)

You are more likely to hear the loud wee-eep of this flycatcher than see it. While the Great Crested Flycatcher is brightly colored for a flycatcher with its yellow belly and rusty wings and tail, it spends most of its time high in the trees hawking insects.

Unlike any other eastern flycatcher, the Great Crested Flycatcher nests in cavities.  It is a summer resident throughout the southern Canadian provinces and all the states east of the Great Plains.  Some Great Crested Flycatchers spend the winter in southern Florida and Cuba, but most travel to southern Mexico, Central America, and northwestern South America.

The Great Crested Flycatcher is present in Tennessee only during the breeding season arriving in early May and departing by late September.

Description: This large noisy flycatcher has a bright yellow belly, an olive brown back, cinnamon-rust on the wings and tail, and wingbars. When excited, it shows a short fluffy crest. The sexes are alike in plumage with males slightly larger.

Length: 8.75"
Wingspan: 13"
Weight: 1.2 oz

Voice: The song is a bold, loud, clear, up-slurred wee-eep.

Similar Species:

No other Tennessee flycatcher has the combination of a yellow belly and cinnamon-rust wings and tail.
Habitat: They breed in open deciduous woodlands, old orchards, riparian corridors, wooded swamps, parks, cemeteries, and urban areas with large shade trees and cavities suitable for nest sites.

Diet: Insects, other invertebrates, some small fruits.

Nesting and reproduction: Both the male and female vigorously defend the nest site.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 or 5 eggs, with a range of 4 to 8.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 13 to 15 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which leave the nest after 13 to 15 days. They remain with the adults for up to 3 more weeks.

Nest: Great Crested Flycatchers prefer natural cavities in trees, but where these are unavailable they will use abandoned woodpecker holes and a variety of human-made structures such as Purple Martin houses and Eastern Bluebird boxes. The female will line the cavity with leaves, grass, hair, and often a snakeskin.

Status in Tennessee: The Great Crested Flycatcher is a fairly common summer resident at low elevations across Tennessee, arriving in mid-April and departing by mid-September. Their numbers appear to be stable.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 30, 2021, 02:08:27 AM
Great Crested Flycatcher, continued


Dynamic map of Great Crested Flycatcher eBird observations in Tennessee

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/great-crested-flycatcher/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582055016889.gif)[/img]

Fun Facts:

Great Crested Flycatcher nests may contain a shed snakeskin or other similar material, such as plastic, cellophane, or an onion skin.
The characteristic loud wee-eep call of the Great Crested Flycatcher can be heard on both wintering and breeding grounds.
The oldest known Great Crested Flycatcher in the wild was 14 years, 11 months old.
Obsolete English Names: northern crested flycatcher, southern crested flycatcher

Best places to see in Tennessee: Great Crested Flycatchers are found in appropriate habitat in every county of the state.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 30, 2021, 02:11:30 AM
Great Crested Flycatcher, continued


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/great-crested-flycatcher-005.jpg)


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/great-crested-flycatcher-006.jpg)

Sources:
Lanyon, W. E. 1997. Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus). The Birds of North America, No. 300 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 30, 2021, 07:08:47 PM
Eastern Kingbird,
Tyrannus tyrannus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-kingbird-002.jpg)

The Eastern Kingbird is a medium-sized dark gray and white flycatcher that, despite its common name, breeds abundantly west of the Mississippi River as well as throughout eastern North America. It forages from high perches, such as the top of live or dead trees, fence posts, or utility wires, often returning to the same perch after flying to catch an insect.

It is a long-distance migrant wintering from northwestern South America throughout the Amazon basin. While the Eastern Kingbird aggressively defends its nest and mate during the breeding season, it usually travels in flocks in the winter. The Eastern Kingbird is usually present in Tennessee from early April to late August.

Description: Identified by contrasting dark gray upperparts and white underparts. The most distinctive field mark is the white band at the tip of the black tail. There is a small crown patch of red, orange, or yellow feathers, but this is usually concealed and very rarely seen. The sexes are alike in plumage. Males tend to sit more upright and often keep their crown feathers in a slight crest.

Length: 8.5"
Wingspan: 15"
Weight: 1.4 oz

Voice: The song is a buzzy, almost electric-sounding, series of short stzee stzee notes, or a repeated tiki tiki tiki.

Similar Species:

No other North American flycatcher is entirely dark gray above and white below, or has a white terminal band on the tail.
Habitat: Breeds in open areas including fencerows, grasslands with scattered trees, orchards etc. Winters in edge habitats usually near rivers, lakes, and in the canopy of tropical forests.

Diet: Flying insects, fruits especially in winter.

Nesting and reproduction: Both male and female aggressively defend territories, often returning to former territories in subsequent years.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 4 eggs, with a range of 2 to 5.

Incubation: Female incubates the eggs for 14 to 16 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which leave the nest after 14 to 17 days. The young remain with the adults for up to 5 more weeks.

Nest: The female, escorted by the male, builds a bulky cup nest in a tree or shrub adjacent to an open area or over water. The average nest height in Tennessee is 20 feet, with a range of 3 to 65 feet (that highest nest was on a high voltage transmission tower).

Status in Tennessee: The Eastern Kingbird is common during the summer at low elevations across Tennessee. They arrive in early April and depart in August to early September. Their numbers appear to be declining in the state.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on August 30, 2021, 07:11:42 PM
Eastern Kingbird, ,  continued

Map of Eastern Kingbird eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/eastern-kingbird/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580852544730.gif)

Fun Facts:

Eastern Kingbirds are notoriously aggressive toward larger birds and potential nest predators. Kingbirds are regularly seen chasing and attaching hawks and crows.
Once a kingbird was observed to knock a Blue Jay out of a tree and cause it to hide under a bush to escape the attack.
During the breeding season, Eastern Kingbirds are highly territorial and mostly eat flying insects. In the winter in South America, they travel in flocks and eat fruits.
The oldest known Eastern Kingbird in the wild was 10 years, 1 month old.
Obsolete English Names: bee martin

Best places to see in Tennessee: Found in every county of the state, especially in more open areas along rivers and in old fields and hedgerows.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-kingbird-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-kingbird-004.jpg)
Sources:
Murphy, M. T. 1996. Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus). The Birds of North America, No. 253 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 02, 2021, 01:41:48 AM
White-eyed Vireo,
Vireo griseus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/white-eyed-vireo-003.jpg)

This small and secretive bird of shrubby areas is more likely to be heard than seen. The song of the White-eyed Vireo is a powerful, short, jumble of notes that begins and ends with a sharp chik. It is a persistent singer throughout the spring and into late summer.

The White-eyed Vireo arrives in Tennessee in early April and remains later than most migrants, departing in mid-October and occasionally staying into November. It breeds across most of the eastern United States and winters around the Gulf Coast, northern Central America, and the Caribbean.

Description: This small songbird has white eyes, yellow "spectacles" around the eyes, olive-green upperparts, a white throat, chest, and belly, yellow sides, and two white wingbars. Immature birds have brown and gray eyes (July-February). Sexes are similar in plumage.

Length: 5"
Wingspan: 7.5"
Weight: 0.4 oz

Voice: The song is a quick sharp series of 5 to 7 notes beginning and ending with emphatic chik. Sometimes described as quick with the beer check. Both males and females will sing this song on the wintering grounds.

Similar Species:

Bell's Vireo, a very rare bird in Tennessee, is similar in appearance but lacks the bright yellow spectacles, is grayer overall, and has dark eyes.
Blue-headed Vireos have white spectacles, dark eyes, and a dark gray head.
Habitat: Found in deciduous scrub, overgrown pastures, old fields, wood margins, streamside thickets, and mangroves.

Diet: Insects, some fruit.
Nesting and reproduction: Females apparently choose their mates by wandering from territory to territory before they settle on one.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 4 eggs, with a range of 2 to 5.

Incubation: Both adults incubate the eggs for 12 to 15 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which leave the nest after 9 to 12 days.

Nest: Females choose the nest site, and males and females construct the nest together. It is usually suspended from a twig of a small tree or shrub, usually within 8 feet of the ground. The nest is made of fine materials such as mosses, lichens, leaves, and small sticks, and lined with even finer material such as plant down and spider's silk. It is often pointed or tapered at the bottom.

Status in Tennessee: The White-eyed Vireo is a common summer resident and migrant at lower elevations across the state. It arrives in early April and departs in mid-October, occasionally staying into early November. This species appears to be declining in Tennessee, likely the result of the loss of brushy habitat and hedgerows in and around farmlands.

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 02, 2021, 01:47:08 AM
White-eyed Vireo,
continued
Fun Facts:

On the wintering grounds, both the male and the female will sing the quick with the beer check song that the male sings on the breeding grounds.
A wing bone of a White-eyed Vireo from the late Pleistocene, approximately 400,000 years ago, was found in Florida.
The oldest known White-eyed Vireo in the wild was 7 years 11 months old.
Best places to see in Tennessee: The White-eyed Vireo can be found in appropriate habitat in every county of the state.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/white-eyed-vireo-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/white-eyed-vireo-007.jpg)

Sources:

Hopp, S. L., A. Kirby, and C. A. Boone. 1995. White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus). The Birds of North America, No. 168 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.


Map of White-eyed Vireo eBird observations in Tennessee
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 02, 2021, 01:49:45 AM
Red-eyed Vireo,
Vireo olivaceus
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-eyed-vireo-004.jpg)

The Red-eyed Vireo is a very common Eastern songbird and has the reputation for being the most persistent of singers.  This inconspicuous bird of the forest canopy will sing its series of short, variable phrases from dawn until dusk.

A common breeding bird across the state, the Red-eyed Vireo can be found in Tennessee from mid-April until late September.  Rangewide it breeds across most of Canada and the eastern United States and migrates to northern South America and the Amazon basin for the winter.

Description: This small, drab songbird is olive-green above and white below, with a pale yellow wash on the sides of the breast.  It has a bluish-gray crown, and a white eyebrow with a black stripe through the eye.  Adult eyes are dark red, and immature birds during their first fall have brown eyes. The male and female are alike in plumage.

Length: 6"
Wingspan: 10"
Weight: 0.6 oz

Voice: The song is a continuous series of two or three note phrases similar to Here I am, where are you, up here, see me. Red-eyed Vireos also give a catbird-like mew.

Similar Species:

Philadelphia and Warbling Vireos have similar plumage patterns, but unlike the Red-eyed Vireo, these species lack a black edge above the white eyebrow line making the head appear much less strongly patterned. In addition, the Philadelphia Vireo typically has a yellow wash to the underparts, and the back of the Warbling Vireo is more gray than olive.
Habitat: Breeds in deciduous and mixed deciduous forests, more abundant in forest interior. Also in urban areas and parks with large trees.

Diet: Insects, especially caterpillars, found in the tree canopy. Also, small fruits especially on tropical wintering grounds.

Nesting and reproduction: Males arrive first on the breeding grounds and pairs form shortly after the arrival of the females.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 eggs, with a range of 3 to 5.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 11 to 14 days.

Fledging: The female does most of the feeding and the young leave the nest after 10 to 12 days.

Nest: The female builds the open cup-nest, which is suspended from a forked tree branch. The nest is made of twigs, bark strips, grasses, pine needles, and lichen, and held together with spider web. The inner lining of the nest is made of grasses, plant fibers, and hair. Nest heights range from 5 to 35 feet above the ground.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 02, 2021, 01:52:38 AM
Red-eyed Vireo, continued

Status in Tennessee: The Red-eyed Vireo is one of the most common and widespread forest dwelling species in the state. It is a Neotropical migrant, breeding in deciduous and mixed forests statewide and wintering in South America. It can be found in the state from mid-April through September and October. The population appears be increasing in Tennessee.

Map of Red-eyed Vireo eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/red-eyed-vireo/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583109041744.gif)

Fun Facts:

During the breeding season, Red-eyed Vireos primarily eat insects. During the winter, they travel in flocks with South American residents and other migrants, and eat fruit almost exclusively.
Some ornithologists believe that a non-migratory population of Red-eyed Vireos living in South America may be a separate species.
Red-eyed Vireos are common hosts to the Brown-headed Cowbird, which lays its eggs in the vireo's nest.
The oldest known Red-eyed Vireo in the wild was 10 years 2 months old.
Obsolete English Names: red-eyed greenlet, yellow-green greenlet

Best places to see in Tennessee: They can be found in large deciduous and mixed deciduous forests across the state.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-eyed-vireo-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-eyed-vireo-002.jpg)
Sources:

Cimprich, D. A., F. R. Moore, and M. P. Guilfoyle. 2000. Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus ). The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 04, 2021, 07:22:28 PM
Blue Jay,
Cyanocitta cristata

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/blue-jay-005.jpg)

Blue Jays are among the most handsome of birds and are renowned for their cleverness and raucous voice.  They have unjustly gotten a bad reputation for raiding the nests of other species possibly because John James Audubon illustrated them in the act.

While Blue Jays are not innocent of such an offense, birds and eggs make up a tiny portion of their diet. Blue Jays are, however, very aggressive toward potential predators and frequently mob hawks, large owls, snakes, raccoons, cats, and even humans that venture too close to fledged young.

Blue Jays breed from southern Canada across the eastern United States.  They are partially migratory with some individuals remaining throughout the year, while others migrate to the southern portions of the range. In Tennessee, Blue Jays are year round residents with more northerly nesting jays joining the local population in winter.

Description: The Blue Jay is blue above, grayish-white below, has a prominent blue crest, and a bold black "necklace" across the chest. The male and female look similar; the juvenile (May-August) is duller.

Length: 11"
Wingspan: 16"
Weight: 3 oz

Voice: The Blue Jay makes a large variety of sounds including a shrill descending jaaay, a repeated jay jay jay, a whistled-warble toodali, clicks, and rattles, and is an expert at mimicking the call of the Red-shouldered Hawk.

Similar Species:

No other bird found in North America has a blue back, blue crest, and a black "necklace" across the upper chest.
This is the only jay species found in Tennessee.
Habitat: Found in deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests and woodlands, more along forest edges than in the deep forest. They are also common in urban and suburban areas, especially where large oaks are present.

Diet: Arthropods, acorns and nuts, fruits, seeds, small vertebrates. Blue Jays frequently visit birdfeeders.
Nesting and reproduction: In Tennessee, Blue Jays begin courtship in late winter; peak egg laying is in late April, and pairs will frequently raise two broods in a season.

Clutch Size: 3 to 5 eggs, range to 7 eggs.

Incubation: The female does most of the 16 to 18 days of incubation with the male providing her food.

Fledging: Chicks fledge in 17 to 21 days. Fledglings begin foraging for themselves within 3 weeks but may be fed by the parents for another 2 months.

Nest: The female does most of the nest building, which takes 3 to 5 days.  The nest is an open cup of twigs, grass, and sometimes mud, and lined with rootlets

. It is typically located in the crotch or outer branches of a deciduous or coniferous tree. Nest heights range from 5 to 50 feet above the ground. In Tennessee, the average nest height is 18 feet.

Status in Tennessee: The Blue Jay is a common and conspicuous permanent resident.  Flocks of migrating Blue Jays can often be seen in fall (mid-September to early November) and spring (late March into early May).

Breeding Bird Survey data show a slight, but significant decline in Blue Jay numbers in Tennessee and rangewide. Reasons for the decline are not clear.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 04, 2021, 07:25:55 PM
Blue Jay,, continued

Map of Blue Jay eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/blue-jay/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580153882962.gif)

Fun Facts:

Much about Blue Jay migration is still a mystery. Evidence indicates that young jays may be more likely to migrate than adults, and some adults migrate south in one year, stay north the next winter, and then migrate south again the next year.
Blue Jays are especially good mimics of Red-shouldered Hawks. It is not known if they do this to warn other jays of a hawk's presence or to fool other species into believing a hawk is close by.
The blue in a Blue Jay's feather is not from pigments, but is the result of light refraction within the internal structure of the feathers. If a Blue Jay feather is crushed, the blue disappears as the structure is destroyed.
The oldest know Blue Jay in the wild was 17 years 6 months old!
Best places to see in Tennessee: This species can be found in a variety of forested landscapes in every county of the state.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/blue-jay-002.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/blue-jay-006.jpg)



Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 04, 2021, 07:27:46 PM
Blue Jay,, continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/blue-jay-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/blue-jay-004.jpg)

Sources:

Tarvin, K. A., and G. E. Woolfenden. 1999. Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata). The Birds of North America, No. 469 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of TN Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 04, 2021, 07:31:34 PM
American Crow
Corvus brachyrhynchos

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/american-crow-007.jpg)

The American Crow is one of the most common and best-known species in Tennessee.  Its harsh caw can be heard in every county in the state and in every month of the year.

It is a clever opportunist and might be seen in flocks in agricultural fields, in suburban neighborhoods scavenging roadkill, or at the city dump.  It is widely distributed, breeding across central Canada and from coast to coast, avoiding only the desert regions of the southwest.

The northernmost breeders migrate to the southern portions of the range in winter.  American Crows form communal roosts during the non-breeding season that can be enormous with many thousands of individuals.

Description: Medium sized all black bird including dark eyes and black legs.

Length: 17.5"

Wingspan: 39"

Weight: 1 lb

Voice: The call is a familiar caw, along with other sounds.

Similar Species:

Fish Crow is very similar in appearance, but has a nasal voice. This species is uncommon and found most often in West Tennessee.
Common Raven is larger with a longer and more curved bill, shaggy throat feathers, a wedge-shaped tail, and a deeper, more guttural voice. Ravens are only found in the eastern mountain regions of East Tennessee.
Habitat: Found in a variety of habitats.  Requires open ground for feeding and scattered trees for roosting and nesting.

Diet: American Crows are omnivorous and will eat waste grain, earthworms, insects, carrion, garbage, seeds, amphibians, reptiles, mice, fruit, bird eggs and nestlings.  They feed primarily on the ground.

Nesting and reproduction: American Crows do not breed until they are at least two years old, and many not until four years old.  Young from previous years are known to help their parents raise the current brood.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 6 eggs.

Incubation: Females incubate the eggs for 18 to 19 days, and are fed by their mates.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which leave the nest in 28 to 35 days. They remain dependent on the adults for another 2 weeks.  Family groups remain together into the winter.

Nest: Construction of the well-made cup nest begins in March, and takes about 2 weeks.  The outside shell is made of sticks, with mud and grass on the inside.  Nests are usually placed high in a tree, often in cedar trees in Tennessee, and nest heights in the state range from 10 to 70 feet with an average of 32 feet.

Status in Tennessee: The American Crow is a common year-round resident across the state, with numbers generally increasing from west to east. Migrants from northern regions augment the resident population in winter.

"Sport-hunting" is allowed in fall and winter in Tennessee, but there is no estimate of the number of birds killed annually. American Crow populations appear to be stable in the state, however, severe susceptibility to West Nile virus may cause population decreases in the future.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 04, 2021, 07:36:05 PM
American Crow,  continued


(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/american-crow/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1579186674666.gif)

Fun Facts:

American Crows congregate in large numbers in winter to sleep in communal roosts.  These roosts can be of a few hundred, several thousand, or even up to two million crows.  Some roosts have been forming in the same general area for well over 100 years. In the last few decades, some of these roosts have moved into urban areas where the noise and mess cause conflicts with people.
Despite being a common exploiter of roadkill, the American Crow is not specialized to be a scavenger, and carrion is only a very small part of its diet. Its stout bill is not strong enough to break through the skin of even a gray squirrel.  It must wait for something else, like a vulture, to open a carcass or for the carcass to decompose and become tender enough to eat.
The American Crow appears to be the biggest victim of West Nile virus, a disease recently introduced to North America.  Crows die within one week of infection, and few seem able to survive exposure.  No other North American bird is dying at such a high rate from the disease. The population of crows in some areas has been greatly reduced due to mortality from West Nile virus.
The oldest known American Crow in the wild was 14 years 17 months old.
Obsolete English Names: common crow, southern crow

Best places to see in Tennessee: This species can be found in a variety of habitats in every county of the state.

For more information:

Center for Disease Control - West Nile Virus Detection in American Crows



(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/american-crow-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/american-crow-003.jpg)

Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Verbeek, N. A. M., and C. Caffrey. 2002. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos). The Birds of North America, No. 647 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 07, 2021, 01:03:47 AM
Purple Martin,
Progne subis

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/purple-martin-002.jpg)
The Purple Martin is the largest swallow in North America, and in the eastern United States, it is almost completely dependent on human-made birdhouses for nest sites.  This is perhaps the earliest spring migrant in Tennessee arriving by the first of March and can be found nesting in every county in the state.

After the breeding season in July and August, adults and fledglings from large communal roosts, often near large bodies of water, but also in urban and suburban settings where they can find sanctuary from predators.

One roost in downtown Nashville discovered in 2010, contained tens of thousands of individuals (see Fun Facts below).

Most Purple Martins in Tennessee depart by early September for the wintering grounds throughout the lowlands east of the Andes in South America.

Description: This large swallow has a large head, broad, pointed wings, and a short, slightly notched tail.  The male is entirely bluish-black; the female is bluish-black on the back, dingy gray below with a darker chest and a gray collar on the neck.

Juveniles are like the female but are paler on the belly, and dark gray-brown on the back.

Length: 8"

Wingspan: 18"

Weight: 2 oz

Voice: The call is a collection of rich, liquid, gurgle notes, often given in flight.

Similar Species:

Other swallows are smaller and slimmer, and none have a dark belly.
European Starlings have a similar shape in flight, but are not as buoyant, and have a long bill.
Habitat: Breeds near human settlements where birdhouses are provided, especially near water and large open areas (see links below).  In winter, feeds in rainforest clearings and agricultural areas, and may roost in village plazas.

Diet: Flying insects

Nesting and reproduction: In eastern North America, Purple Martins have nested almost exclusively in nest boxes for more than 100 years. Historically they would have used natural cavities, especially old woodpecker holes, but now are found in multi-compartment birdhouses, hollowed-out gourds, and rarely cracks and crevices in buildings.  European Starlings and House Sparrows often compete with Purple Martins for nest sites.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 6 eggs, with a range from 1 to 8.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 15 to18 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the nestlings, which fledge in 28 to 29 days. After fledging, adults and juveniles gather in large communal roosts, sometimes with thousands of individuals.

Nest: Eastern Purple Martins primarily nest in "martin houses" and gourds hung from poles. Both adults build the nest of twigs, plant stems, mud, and grass. Nest Box Instructions here.

Status in Tennessee: The distribution of Purple Martins in Tennessee is dependent on the location of artificial nest sites. They are a fairly common summer resident in towns, suburbs, and farmsteads across the state.

Human management of colonies is often required because European Starlings and House Sparrows can out-compete martins for nest sites. Their population appears to be stable in Tennessee.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 07, 2021, 01:09:17 AM
Purple Martin,, continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/purple-martin/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583109020206.gif)
Fun Facts:

Native Americans started the practice of providing nest structures for martins. The Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians hung hollowed calabash gourds from saplings near their homes to serve as martin houses.
Quote by John James Audubon (1831): "Almost every country tavern has a martin box on the upper part of its sign-board; and I have observed that the handsomer the box, the better does the inn generally prove to be."
The Purple Martin not only gets all its food in flight, it gets all its water that way too. It skims the surface of a pond and scoops up the water with its lower bill.
The oldest known Purple Martin in the wild was 13 years 9 months old.
In mid-August 2010 an enormous Purple Martin roost site was discovered on the slope of Interstate 24 on the east side of Nashville near Oldham Street. Tens of thousands of martins form towering tornadoes of swirling birds and then "rain" into a 200-yard section of bushes. 

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/purple-martin-004.jpg)

https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/purple-martin-005.jpg

est places to see in Tennessee: Found in every county in the state.  Starting in late July large numbers of martins can be seen congregating on the east side of downtown Nashville before going to roost at sunset.

For more information:

Tennessee's Woodworking for Wildlife page with nest box instructions

Purple Martin Conservation Association

The Purple Martin Society of North America

Sources:
Brown, C. R. 1997. Purple Martin (Progne subis). The Birds of North America, No. 287 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 07, 2021, 09:57:18 AM
Northern Rough-winged Swallow,
Stelgidopteryx serripennis

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/northern-rough-winged-swallow/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1582758360983.jpg)

The Northern Rough-winged Swallow's name refers to the tiny serrations on the outermost wing feathers of this swallow, a feature visible only when the bird is in the hand.   The possible adaptive significance of these serrations remains a mystery.

The Northern Rough-winged Swallow is an aerial forager and feeds over water more than most swallows, sometimes plucking food from the water's surface. T his swallow generally does not gather in large flocks like other swallows.

It breeds from southern Canada across the United States, and winters in southern most Florida, and throughout Mexico and Central America.  The Northern Rough-winged Swallow arrives in Tennessee in late March or early April, and the first individuals depart soon after the young fledge in mid-summer, with most leaving by late September.

Description: Adults are uniformly plain brown above, with a white belly, and buffy throat and upper breast. They have square tails and white under-tail coverts. Juveniles are similar in appearance to adults but have reddish-brown wing-bars.

Length: 5.5"

Wingspan: 14"

Weight: 0.56 oz

Voice: The call is a rough, harsh brrrit.

Similar Species:

Bank Swallows are smaller and have a distinct dark brown breast-band separating a clean white throat and white lower breast. The tail and overall body shape is more slender.
Juvenile Tree Swallows have a brownish-gray back, a dull chest with a faint breast-band, and a whitish throat.
Habitat: Breeds in a wide variety of open habitats with potential nesting sites, including banks, gorges, and human-made sites.  They are often found near water.

Diet: Flying insects

Nesting and reproduction: Northern Rough-winged Swallows are cavity nesters and are found in small colonies of a few pairs, or as isolated pairs depending on nest site availability.  The male defends a small territory around the entrance of the nest site.

Clutch Size: From 4 to 8 eggs, with 5 to 7 eggs most common.

Incubation: Female incubates the eggs for 16 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which leave the nest in about 19 days

Nest: In Tennessee natural nest sites include abandoned Belted Kingfisher burrows, crevices in rock bluffs and cave mouths, and tunnels along streams and lakes formed by rotted tree roots.  Human-made sites include drain holes in bridges and retaining walls, and crevices in road cuts and quarries.

The female builds the loosely constructed nest of weed stems, grass and twigs, and lined with grass. The nest is placed 1.5 to 7 feet from the cavity entrance.

Status in Tennessee: The Northern Rough-winged Swallow is an uncommon summer resident across the state. Its distribution is likely limited by the availability of nest sites. Rangewide numbers appear to be stable.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 07, 2021, 10:01:15 AM
Northern Rough-winged Swallow,continued


(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/waterbirds/northern-rough-winged-swallow/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582758361600.gif)

Fun Facts:

Scientists have been unable to determine the function of the rough wing edge of the Northern Rough-winged Swallow.
When John James Audubon discovered the Northern Rough-winged Swallow in 1819 in Louisiana, he originally thought it was a Bank Swallows. It was only later upon closer inspection that he realized he had actually collected a new species.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-rough-winged-swallow-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-rough-winged-swallow-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-rough-winged-swallow-002.jpg)


Best places to see in Tennessee: Across the state in areas with potential nesting sites from April through August.

Sources:
De Jong, M.J. 1996. Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 10, 2021, 02:57:16 AM
Barn Swallow
Hirundo rustica

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/barn-swallow-007.jpg)
The Barn Swallow's habit of nesting in barns makes this the most familiar swallow to Tennesseans.   Originally, the Barn Swallow nested primarily in caves, but now almost exclusively chooses man-made structures.

It is the most widely distributed and abundant swallow species in the world, breeding throughout the northern hemisphere and wintering in most of the southern hemisphere with the exception of Australia and Antarctica.  The Barn Swallow is present in Tennessee from late March through early October.

Description: This long elegant swallow is metallic blue-black above and cinnamon below.  The forehead and throat are chestnut colored, and the tail is deeply forked.

Adults and juveniles are similar in appearance, though females tend to be less vibrantly colored and have shorter outer tail-streamers, and juveniles have shorter and less forked tails, and paler underparts.

Length: 6.75"

Wingspan: 15"

Weight: 0.67 oz

Voice: The call is an excited musical twitter.

Similar Species:

The Barn Swallow is the only North American swallow with a long forked tail.
Cliff Swallows have a square tail, a pale collar around the nape of the neck, a pale rump, and white forehead. They might be confused with short-tailed juvenile Barn Swallows.
Habitat: Barn Swallows are found in many habitats with open areas for foraging and structures for nesting, including agricultural areas, cities, and along highways.  They need mud for nest building.

Diet: Flying insects.
Nesting and reproduction: Barn Swallows nest solitarily or in small colonies.  The size of the colony depends on the size of the structure and the number of entryways.

In Tennessee, egg laying begins in late April with a peak for first clutches from 10 to 15 May.  The same pair may mate together for several years, and the female may have two broods a year.

Clutch Size: 3 to 6 eggs with an average of 5 eggs.

Incubation: Females do most of the incubating, which lasts for about 17 days.

Fledging: Both adults care for the young. They fledge in about 21 days and the parents will continue to feed them for another week.

Nest: Nests are usually placed on a ledge, vertical wall, or in a corner under an overhang in a barn, old building, or bridge.  Both adults build the cup-shaped nest of mud pellets mixed with straw, and lined with grass and feathers.  It takes less than a week to construct the nest, and nests from previous years are often refurbished and used in subsequent years.

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 10, 2021, 02:59:53 AM
Barn Swallow, continued
Status in Tennessee: The Barn Swallow was originally rare in the state, but became a common breeder by the mid-1900s because of its attraction to human-made structures for nest sites.

While still a common nesting species in Tennessee numbers are declining likely to due to the decrease in farmland and loss of barn nesting habitat.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/barn-swallow/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1579206785948.gif)

Fun Facts:

The Barn Swallow, not the more famous egret, indirectly led to the founding of the conservation movement in the United States! It was the killing of Barn Swallows for the millinery trade (decorations for lady's hats) that apparently prompted George Grinnell's 1886 editorial in Forest and Stream, which ultimately led to the founding of the first Audubon Society.
Recent research has shown that tail length and degree of asymmetry in the outer tail-streamers appears to be a reliable predictor of an individual's quality. Tail length, in both males and females, tends to correlate with reproductive success, and annual survival. Females prefer to mate with males that have the longest and most symmetrical tails.
The average lifespan of barn swallows is 4 years. Barn swallows of 8 years of age have been documented, but these are considered the exception.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Virtually anywhere in Tennessee with barns between April and September.

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 10, 2021, 03:02:09 AM
Barn Swallow, continued
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/barn-swallow-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/barn-swallow-008.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/barn-swallow-004.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/barn-swallow-003.jpg)

Sources:

Brown, C. R. and M. B. Brown. 1999. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 10, 2021, 07:09:19 PM
Carolina Chickadee
, Poecile carolinensis

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/carolina-chickadee-004.jpg)

The Carolina Chickadee is a energetic little black, white, and gray bird is familiar to most Tennesseans because it readily visits bird feeders and it frequently calls its name while foraging, chick-a-dee-dee.

Carolina Chickadees are found year round throughout the state anywhere there is forest and are absent only from the high elevations in the Appalachian Mountains where Black-capped Chickadees are often present.  The breeding range extends from New Jersey westward to southeastern Kansas and central Texas, southward to the Gulf Coast and northern Florida.

Description: This small, short-billed bird has a black cap, black bib, and white cheeks.  The back is an unstreaked gray, the underparts are whitish with gray or brownish flanks.

Tail and wings are gray, upper wing feathers with no or only a little white edging.  Males, females and immature birds are similar in appearance.

Length: 4.75"
Wingspan: 7.5"
Weight: 0.37 oz

Voice: The song is a four-part clear whistle fee-bee fee-bay or car o line a, and a high pitched, rapid chicka dee dee dee. Winter call notes are high and thin.

Similar Species:

The Black-capped Chickadee looks very similar, but is slightly larger, has more extensive gray edging in its wings, and a black bib that generally less defined and appears uneven. The easiest way to distinguish the two species is by song. The Black-capped sings a two or three-note song, and Carolina sings a four-note song. See link below for additional information on distinguishing Carolina and Black-capped Chickadees.
**Black-capped Chickadee's occur almost exclusively at the highest elevations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and are unlikely to occur at lower elevations, in towns, or at feeders due to their preference of high elevations in Tennessee.
Habitat: Deciduous and mixed deciduous/coniferous woodlands, swamps, riparian areas, open woods, parks, suburban and urban areas.

Diet: Insects, spiders, seeds, and fruits.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 10, 2021, 07:12:06 PM
Carolina Chickadee, continued

Nesting and reproduction: Carolina Chickadees are monogamous and mates may remain together for more than one nesting season. In Tennessee, egg laying begins in mid-March and peaks in early April.

Clutch Size: 3 to 10 eggs, usually 5 or 6.

Incubation: Only the female incubates with the male delivering food to her. Eggs hatch in 14 to 15 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge in 17 to 18 days. The young remain with the parents for another 2 weeks.

Nest: Carolina Chickadees nest in cavities that they either excavate or find.  Nests are typically in dead trees or rotten branches.

Within the cavity the nest is constructed of green moss and lined with either mammal hair or thin strips of plant fibers. Average nest height in Tennessee is 5 feet.  They will use nest boxes. Nest Box Instructions here.

Status in Tennessee: This year round resident is common throughout the state with the exception of the highest elevations (generally above 4,000 feet) in the Appalachian Mountains. Their numbers appear to be stable or slightly increasing.

Map of Carolina Chickadee eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/carolina-chickadee/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580156426243.gif)

Fun Facts:

John James Audubon "discovered" this species while in coastal South Carolina. He wrote "My drawing of the Carolina Titmouse was made not far from New Orleans late in 1820. I have named it so, partly because it occurs in Carolina, and partly because I was desirous of manifesting my gratitude towards the citizens of that State, who by their hospitality and polite attention have so much contributed to my comfort and happiness, whenever it has been my good fortune to be among them."
In winter, Carolina Chickadees live in flocks with 2 to 8 chickadees and several other species. Chickadees defend areas against other flocks. Dominant birds in these flocks establish breeding territories that were part of the flock's winter range.
Chickadees have a fabulous memory. They hide thousands of food items in different locations and are able to return later and remember where nearly all of them are.
Male and female Carolina Chickadees can remain paired for several years. Probability of pair bond maintenance appears to depend on population, with nearly all pairs remaining together in subsequent years in Texas, but only half staying together in Tennessee. In attempts to obtain the best male, a female may seek out a new male on a different territory if a nesting attempt fails.
The oldest known Carolina Chickadee in the wild was 10 years 8 months old, but the life span is usually closer to 4 to 5 years.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 10, 2021, 07:14:38 PM
Carolina Chickadee, continued


Obsolete English Names: chickadee, tit

Best places to see in Tennessee: Common (or present) in most wooded to open shrubby habitats in every county of the state.

For more information:

Tennessee's Woodworking for Wildlife page with nest box instructions

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/carolina-chickadee-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/carolina-chickadee-002.jpg)

Sources:

Mostrom, A.M., R.L. Curry and B. Lohr. 2002. Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of TN Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 12, 2021, 01:43:54 PM
Tufted Titmouse,
Baeolophus bicolor
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/tufted-titmouse-004.jpg)
The ringing peter-peter-petersong of the Tufted Titmouse is a familiar sound in the forests across Tennessee.  While it readily visits bird feeders in winter, the Tufted Titmouse is often found foraging in flocks with Carolina Chickadees and Downy Woodpeckers.  It is a year round resident across the Eastern United States from southern Minnesota to southern Vermont and southward to northeastern Mexico and the Gulf Coast.

Description: This small gray songbird has a short crest on its head, a prominent black eye on a pale gray face, a black patch on its forehead, and a whitish belly with rusty flanks. Adult males and females are similar; juvenile birds have a shorter crest and lack the black on the forehead.

Length: 6.5"
Wingspan: 9.75"
Weight: 0.75 oz

Voice: The song is a high-pitched phrase, peter-peter-peter, repeated up to 11 times in succession. They also give a variety of nasal, mechanical or very high pitched call notes.

Similar Species:

No other bird species in Tennessee has the combination of a gray back and a crest on the head.
Habitat: Deciduous forest, swamps, orchards, parks, and suburban areas.

Diet: Insects and seeds.

Nesting and reproduction: Territorial singing begins as early as mid-January. The Tufted Titmouse is monogamous, and a pair may use the same nest cavity for more than one year. On rare occasion yearling titmice stay on their natal territory and help their parents raise younger siblings.

Clutch Size: 3 to 8 eggs with clutches of 5 to 7 most common in Tennessee.

Incubation: Only the female incubates the eggs and the male delivers food to her. Eggs hatch in 13 to 14 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge in 17 to 18 days. The young remain with the parents for several weeks after fledging and sometimes through the winter.

Nest: Tufted Titmice nest in cavities that they find or in nest boxes (see link below for nest box plans). Within the cavity the nest is constructed of dry leaves, moss, or fragments of snakeskin, and lined with mammal hair. Average nest height in Tennessee is 12 feet.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 12, 2021, 01:46:09 PM
Tufted Titmouse, continued

Status in Tennessee: Common permanent resident in every county of the state. Numbers appear to be stable.

Map of Tufted Titmouse eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/tufted-titmouse/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583196319302.gif)

Fun Facts:

During the past 50 years the range of the Tufted Titmouse has expanded northward, probably because of climatic warming and increased bird feeding.
During the non-breeding season groups of 2 to 4 titmice commonly move about with flocks of Carolina Chickadees and Downy Woodpeckers.
In late summer multiple family groups of titmice may gather into flocks of over 20 individuals.
The oldest Tufted Titmouse recorded in the wild was 13 years 3 months old.
Best places to see in Tennessee: This year round resident is common in woodlands throughout the state.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 12, 2021, 01:48:36 PM
Tufted Titmouse, continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/tufted-titmouse-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/tufted-titmouse-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/tufted-titmouse-002.jpg)

Sources:

Grubb, Jr., T. C. and V. V. Pravasudov. 1994. Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 04:27:14 PM
White-breasted Nuthatch,
Sitta carolinensis

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/white-breasted-nuthatch-002.jpg)

The foraging behavior and call of the White-breasted Nuthatch makes this a rather easy bird to identify.   Nuthatches creep up and headfirst down tree trunks looking for insects tucked into bark crevasses, and their nasal wha-wha-wha is quite distinctive.

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a year round resident throughout its range and often visits bird feeders or joins mixed foraging flocks with Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice in winter.  It inhabits deciduous forests from southern Canada to northern Florida and southern Mexico, and only the northern-most individuals migrate south during severe winters.

Description: The White-breasted Nuthatch has a blue-gray back with a black cap that tops an all-white face and breast. The flanks and undertail coverts are rusty, the tail is square, and the flight is undulating. The bill is long and slightly upturned. It creeps both up and headfirst down tree trunks while foraging. Sexes appear similar but the female cap is grayer.

Length: 5.75"
Wingspan: 11"
Weight: 0.74 oz

Voice: The song is a rapid series of nasal wha-wha-wha notes lasting 2 to 3 seconds.

Similar Species:

Red-breasted Nuthatches are smaller, have a white stripe above the eye and a black stripe through the eye, and are reddish underneath. In Tennessee they breed only in high elevation spruce-fir forests in East Tennessee. During some winters, however, moderate numbers can be found across the state.
Habitat: Open woodlands with mature, primarily deciduous, trees, especially near openings and edges. Also, found in parks and suburbs with large trees.

Diet: Insects, nuts, and seeds.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 04:32:20 PM
White-breasted Nuthatch,continued
Nesting and reproduction: White-breasted Nuthatches are cavity nesters and pairs maintain permanent territories throughout the year. Breeding activity in Tennessee begins in late winter when the males start singing more often and display to their mates.

Clutch Size: From 5 to 10 eggs with 8 most common.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 14 days and is often fed by her mate.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young for a couple of weeks after fledging. Families often remain together into the fall.

Nest: The female selects a natural cavity or old woodpecker hole and packs it with twigs, fur, feathers, and bark shreds. White-breasted Nuthatches will occasionally nest in nest boxes. Nest Box Instructions here.

Status in Tennessee: Fairly common permanent resident across Tennessee. Numbers have been increasing in recent years probably because both forested area and the maturity of forests has increased in the state.

Map of White-breasted Nuthatch eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/white-breasted-nuthatch/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583197097842.gif)
Fun Facts:

Nuthatches gather and store nuts and seeds, jamming them into tree bark and hammer or "hatch" the food open with their bills at a later time.
The reasons nuthatches forage by climbing down trees are not fully known, but it may be that they can spot prey hidden from creepers, woodpeckers, and other upward-facing feeders.
The oldest White-breasted Nuthatch in the wild was 9 years 10 months old.
Obsolete English Names: slender-billed nuthatch

Best places to see in Tennessee: Found across the state but is more likely to occur in larger woodlands.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 04:34:15 PM
White-breasted Nuthatch,continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/white-breasted-nuthatch-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/white-breasted-nuthatch-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/white-breasted-nuthatch-006.jpg)

Sources:
Grubb, Jr., T. C. and V. V. Pravosudov. 2008. White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 04:37:36 PM
Carolina Wren
Thryothorus ludovicianus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/carolina-wren-002.jpg)

The loud tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle song of the Carolina Wren is familiar across the southeast, but people are usually surprised when they learn that this voice belongs to such a small bird.  The Carolina Wren is a rather shy permanent resident that frequents homes and gardens as well as wilder swamps and woodlands that have a moderately dense brushy cover.

While it will build its nests in natural cavities, it is more likely to nest in a hanging plant than in a birdhouse. Carolina Wrens are found in the Eastern United States southward into northeastern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula but are most common in the Southeastern states.

Description: A small bird with rusty upperparts, cinnamon underparts, and a distinct white eye-stripe. The tail is moderately long, rusty brown with darker barring, and is often held upward. The male and female are identical in plumage, but males are often slightly larger. It has a loud and varied song repertoire and is more likely to be heard than seen.

Length: 5.5"
Wingspan: 7.5"
Weight: 0.74 oz

Voice: The song is a loud ringing, repeated series of notes: tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle. Calls include a chatter likened to teeth rubbing on a metal comb, staccato notes, and scolding churrs. The male and female often duet with the female giving a raspy churr in response to the male tea-kettle song.

Similar Species:

Bewick's Wren has become exceedingly rare in Tennessee. It is overall grayer, without cinnamon underparts, and has a longer tail with black outer-tail feathers tipped in white.
The House Wren is smaller, duller in color, and lacks the white eye-stripe.
Habitat: Found in a wide range of habitats from swamps to forests and residential areas. Requires moderately dense shrub or brushy cover.

Diet: Insects and spiders.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 04:39:10 PM
Carolina Wren, continued
Nesting and reproduction: Carolina Wrens maintain territories and pair bonds year-round. They have a long nesting season in Tennessee lasting from late March into August. Second broods are common and occasionally they will raise a third brood.

Clutch Size: 3 to 7 eggs with 5 eggs most frequent.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 14 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed nestlings. The young fledge when 12 to 15 days old and stay with the parents for another couple of weeks.

Nest: Both sexes build the nest, which is usually domed and within 3 to 10 feet of the ground.  In natural settings, individuals prefer to nest in open cavities, thick shrubs, vine tangles.

Around homes and gardens, they often build nests in nooks and crannies, unused receptacles, hanging plants, open mailboxes, nest boxes, carports, and garages when the door is left open for extended periods of time.

Status in Tennessee: Common to abundant, permanent residents of low-elevation woodlands and wooded suburban areas across the state. Numbers appear to be stable, but will temporarily drop following severe winters.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/carolina-wren/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580156427466.gif)
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 04:40:57 PM
Carolina Wren, continued

Fun Facts:

In the early 1800s, when John James Audubon first described this species, they ranged no further north than Philadelphia. Carolina Wrens now range from the Great Lakes to southern New England. This expansion is likely the result of warmer winters in recent years. However, cold winters with ice and snow can have devastating effects on local populations, but they recover within a few years.
A pair bond may form between a male and a female any time of the year, and they may stay together for life. Members of a pair are resident on their territory year round, and forage and move around the territory together.
Females help the males with territorial defense by singing with their mates. When the male gives an aggressive territorial song in response to a neighboring male, his mate will approach and give a chattering call that overlaps the male's song.
The oldest known Carolina Wren in the wild was 7 years 8 months old.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Found in suburban areas across the state but more easily heard than seen.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/carolina-wren-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/carolina-wren-003.jpg)

Sources:

Haggerty, T. M. and E. S. Morton. 1995. Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 04:43:12 PM
Golden-crowned Kinglet

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/golden-crowned-kinglet-003.jpg)
The Golden-crowned Kinglet is the second smallest nesting bird in Tennessee; only the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is smaller.  It is restricted to the mountains of East Tennessee during the breeding season, but is a common winter resident across the state.

The breeding range of this tiny songbird extends across the boreal forest of Alaska and Canada, into the western United States, and Tennessee represents the southern limit of the range in the eastern states.  During the winter most northern breeders migrate to the lower 48 states, but despite its small size the Golden-crowned Kinglet can withstand winter temperatures of -30° F.

Description: The Golden-crowned Kinglet has grayish-olive upperparts, whitish underparts, two white wing-bars, a broad white eyebrow stripe, and a yellow crown patch bordered by black.

The male and female look the same except the male has an additional erectile patch of orange feathers within the yellow crown. He raises this patch in confrontations with other males. Kinglets are very active foragers, often hanging upside down, and they frequently flick their wings while foraging making kinglets easier to identify.

Length: 4"
Wingspan: 7"
Weight: 0.21 oz

Voice: The song is a series of rising high-pitched notes, followed by a musical chatter. The call notes are a series of usually 3 very high-pitched notes, tsee-tsee-tsee. The call, and occasionally the song, is given on the wintering grounds in Tennessee.

Similar Species:

Ruby-crowned Kinglets have an eye-ring, no eyebrow stripe.
Habitat: Breeds in spruce and fir forests, as well as some mixed coniferous-deciduous forests. During migration and in winter it can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including lowland deciduous woodlands.

Diet: Small insects and insect eggs.


Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 04:44:44 PM
Golden-crowned Kinglet, continued

Nesting and reproduction: The Golden-crowned Kinglet reaches the southern limit of its breeding range in the mountains of East Tennessee. It usually nests above 4,000 feet in spruce-fir forests, and occasionally in hemlocks.

Clutch Size: 8 to 9 eggs

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs, which hatch in about 15 days.

Fledging: Both parents tend the young, who leave the nest in about 17 days.

Nest: The female builds a deep, globular cup-nest of moss, lichens, fine grasses and pine needles in a conifer tree. Nest heights range from 6 to 50 feet above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: The Golden-crowned Kinglet is a locally common breeding bird in East Tennessee, and a common winter resident across the state. Migrants and wintering birds arrive in the fall starting in early October and depart by mid-April.

Map of Golden-crowned Kinglet eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/golden-crowned-kinglet/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582054315262.gif)

Fun Facts:

The scientific name for the Golden-crowned Kinglet is Regulus satrapa. The Greek word satrapes means a king wearing a golden crown.
According to the web page of the Bird Banding Lab, a total of 188,202 Golden-crowned Kinglets were banded between 1955 and 2000. Of these, only 69 have been encountered at locations away from where they were banded (an encounter rate of 0.036%).
The female Golden-crowned Kinglet feeds her large brood of fledglings for only one day after they leave the nest. The male tends to the brood while she begins another nest. In spite of having eight or nine young to feed, the male manages to feed them and occasionally the incubating female by himself. Second clutches, however, have not been confirmed in Tennessee.
A single, tiny feather covers each of the Golden-crowned Kinglet's nostrils.
In very cold weather, tight lines of up to 4 or 5 Golden-crowned Kinglets have been found roosting on tree branches, presumably to help retain body heat.
Obsolete English Names: American Golden-crested Kinglet

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 04:46:18 PM
Golden-crowned Kinglet, continued

Best places to see in Tennessee: Golden-crowned Kinglets breed at higher elevations on Roan Mountain and in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. During the winter, they can be found in woodlands across the state in mixed-species flocks with Ruby-crowned Kinglets, chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/golden-crowned-kinglet-002.jpg)



Sources:
Ingold, J. L., and R. Galati. 1997. Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa). The Birds of North America, No. 301 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 04:54:01 PM
Comming soon...a profile of the wonderful Eastern Bluebird
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 04:56:36 PM
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher,
Polioptila caerulea

(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/blue-gray-gnatcatcher/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys0/tn_image.img.jpg/1583770323318.jpg)

This tiny, active, long-tailed songbird is one of the first migrants to return to Tennessee in the spring. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher arrives in late March and its thin, nasal spee call can be heard in deciduous forests across the state.  It usually forages with its tail cocked, flicking it from side to side.  This behavior may flush insects that the gnatcatcher then sallies out to catch.

The breeding range extends across much of the lower 48 states southward into Central America. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher spends the winter in the southern United States, Cuba, and Central America.

Description: The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is bluish-gray above, white below, and has a tail almost as long as the body with white outer tail feathers. It has a white eye-ring, a small thin bill, and no wing-bars. The sexes are similar but the breeding male is slightly darker gray, with a black line from the bill to behind the eyes.

Length: 4.5"
Wingspan: 6"
Weight: 0.21 oz

Voice: The call is a high-pitched series of thin nasal spee notes. The song is a soft jumble of warbling notes.

Similar Species:

Cerulean Warbler males have a blue back, are white below with a thin dark breast band, have two wing-bars, and no eye-ring. The tail is notably shorter.
Ruby-crowned Kinglets are greenish with wing bars and shorter tails.
Habitat: Breeds in a variety of deciduous wooded habitats from shrubland to mature forest, especially near water.

Diet: Small insects and spiders.

Nesting and reproduction: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher population densities are highest in the South, especially in floodplains and swamps. They often raise two broods in a season, and males will leave the newly fledged young with the female as he starts construction on a new nest.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 to 5 eggs, with a range of 3 to 6.

Incubation: Both the male and female incubate the eggs for about 13 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which fledge in about 13 days.

Nest: The nest, built by both adults, is an open, high-walled cup made of dead grasses and plant fiber held together with spider webbing or caterpillar silk.  Bits of lichens attached to the outside help to camouflage the nest. Construction of the first nest takes 8 to 14 days.

The male alone builds the nest for a second brood constructing it with "recycled" material from the first nest. Nests are usually placed far out from the tree trunk on a horizontal branch. Nest heights in Tennessee range from 6 to 45 feet above the ground, with an average height of 21 feet.

Status in Tennessee: The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is a fairly common summer resident of woodlands and woodland edges across the state. It arrives in late March and departs by late September. The population appears to be stable.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 05:01:12 PM
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher,, continued

 Map of Blue-gray Gnatcatcher eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/blue-gray-gnatcatcher/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1587145683194.gif)

Fun Facts:

The breeding range of the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher has to expand northward over the past 25 years, most dramatically in the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada.
By flicking their white-edged tail from side to side, gnatcatchers may scare up hiding insects. They remove the wings and beat large insects on a perch before swallowing.
The oldest known Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in the wild was 4 years 2 months old.
Obsolete English Names: blue-gray flycatcher

Best places to see in Tennessee: Blue-gray Gnatcatchers can be found in most large deciduous woodlands across the state. The best time of year to see them is in the spring before the trees leaf out, and when they are frequently singing.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/blue-gray-gnatcatcher-006.jpg)

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 15, 2021, 05:02:44 PM
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher,, continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/blue-gray-gnatcatcher-005.jpg)


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/blue-gray-gnatcatcher-003.jpg)

Sources:

Ellison, W. G. 1992. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 19, 2021, 07:43:51 PM
Eastern Bluebird
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-bluebird-004.jpg)

The Eastern Bluebird was chosen for TWRA's Watchable Wildlife license plate because it is a common Tennessee bird that people have benefitted by putting up bluebird boxes.  This small thrush is a year round resident and can often be seen hunting along roadsides from a fence or low perch.

The breeding range of the Eastern Bluebird extends across the eastern half of North America southward into Central America. The northernmost nesters migrate to the southern part of the breeding range in winter.

The brilliant blue color of the male, the delightful call and familial behavior make the Eastern Bluebird one of the most popular songbirds in Tennessee. It is a permanent resident, though some birds may move short distances south from their breeding areas to avoid very cold temperatures.

Description: This medium-sized songbird has a large, round head, and a blue back, wings and tail.    The chest is orange, the lower belly is white, and the male is brighter than the female.

Adult male: a brilliant blue above and rusty orange on the throat and breast, whitish belly  Female: gray-blue above and dull rust on the throat and breast, whitish belly  Juvenile: similar to adult female but grayish with a speckled breast  (May-August) 

Length: 7"
Wingspan: 13"
Weight: 1.1 oz

Voice: The song is a soft musical cheer cheerful charmer melody. The call notes are raspy and scolding.

Similar Species:

No other songbird in Tennessee has a blue back and orange breast.
Habitat: Open habitats with little or no groundcover such as orchards, open woodlands, clear-cuts, parks, and large lawns in suburban and rural areas.  It is often observed perched on wires, posts, and low branches scanning the ground for prey. It traditionally nested in naturally occurring tree cavities or cavities created by woodpeckers in trees or fence posts.

Diet: Arthropods caught on the ground including: caterpillars, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, and spiders are the main diet. In fall and winter, bluebirds eat large amounts of fruit from native species such as poison ivy, sumac, black cherry, dogwood, hackberry, blueberries, and mistletoe.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 19, 2021, 07:48:18 PM
Eastern Bluebird, continued

Nesting and reproduction: Eastern Bluebirds are cavity nesters and typically have 2 broods each year, sometimes 3, and rarely 4 often use the same nest for all broods.  Bluebirds depend on naturally occurring cavities, tree cavities excavated by other species, or nest boxes. The female builds the nest of grasses, and lines it with finer material. Nest Box Instructions here.

Males attract females to the nest with a display in which he carries nesting material into and out of the cavity.   The breeding pair can stay together for several seasons.

Eastern Bluebirds suffer from competition with European Starlings and House Sparrows for nest sites, but the thousands of nest boxes that have been erected appear to off-set these detrimental effects (see link below for nest box designs that exclude starlings).

Clutch size: Usually 4 to 5 pale blue (or rarely, white) eggs. Female begins laying eggs a few days after the nest is completed and usually lays one per day.   In Tennessee first clutches are commonly laid in March, last clutches in July or August.
Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 14 days.  Incubation does not start until after all eggs are laid so that all eggs hatch on the same day.

Fledging: The young are fed by both parents and fledge in 15 to18 days. Young produced in early nests usually leave their parents in summer, but young from later nests frequently stay with their parents over the winter.
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-bluebird-009.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/EABL_Nestlings2.jpg)


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-bluebird-006.jpg)
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/EABL_Nestlings1.jpg)


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-bluebird-008.jpg)
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 19, 2021, 07:53:09 PM
Eastern Bluebird, continued
Songs and Calls: Song is a soft, warbled "cheerful charmer". Call is a soft "tru-ly" when communication with mate or young. Also gives a raspy alarm call. 

Status in Tennessee: The Eastern Bluebird is a common permanent resident across the state though some individuals may migrate further south in winter. Populations appear to be stable, but vulnerable in especially severe winters.
Populations fell in the early 20th century due to many factors. Competition for nesting sites from introduced species, loss of open space and natural nesting cavities, increased pesticide use and climatic events contributed to the decline.

In the 1970's, conservation efforts to provide nest boxes specifically designed to keep out the larger European Starling combined with a campaign to provide and monitor boxes for use by invasive House Sparrows has helped with the recovery of the beloved species.

Map of Eastern Bluebird eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/eastern-bluebird/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580852042323.gif)

Fun Facts:

The clutch size of Eastern Bluebirds varies with latitude and longitude. Bluebirds that nest farther north and farther west have larger clutches than southern nesters.
In especially cold weather, several individuals will roost together in one cavity to stay warm. This species has been observed using nest boxes to stay warm during cold winter nights, packing 8-12 individuals into one box.
The oldest known Eastern Bluebird in the wild was 10 years 6 months old.
Obsolete English Names: bluebird

Title: Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 19, 2021, 07:55:58 PM
Eastern Bluebird, continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-bluebird-007.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-bluebird-002.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/eastern-bluebird-005.jpg)

Best places to see in Tennessee: Eastern Bluebirds are found in every county in the state. Many state and local parks have "bluebird trails" with multiple bluebird houses.

Sources:

Gowaty, P. A. and J. H. Plissner. 1998. Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 20, 2021, 02:08:43 AM
Hermit Thrush,
Catharus guttatus

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/hermit-thrush-003.jpg)

The Hermit Thrush is primarily a migrant and winter visitor to Tennessee arriving in early October and departing by late April.  It is the only brown thrush you'd expect to see in the state during the winter months.

The Hermit Thrush is a quiet, unobtrusive bird spending most of its time foraging in the leaf litter or in berry-filled tangles at the forest edge . A behavioral characteristic that makes this bird easier to identify is its habitat of flicking its wings when perched and quickly raising and slowly lowering its ruddy-colored tail.

While a Hermit Thrush nest has yet to be found in Tennessee, males have been heard singing and juvenile birds have been found on Roan Mountain for the past 10 years.  The breeding range for this species extends across the boreal forest south through the western and northeastern United States and only recently has the breeding range extended into the southern Appalachians. Hermit Thrush winter over much of the Southeast and south through Mexico to El Salvador.

Description: This medium-sized thrush has a brown back and reddish tail. It has black spots on a white chest, buffy sides of the chest, a thin whitish eye-ring, and a bill that is pale at the base and black at the tip. The Hermit Thrush cocks its tail up and flicks its wings frequently.

It also characteristically lifts its tails up quickly and lowers it slowly. Both male and female look alike. While often difficult to see, its distinct chup or tuck call note, sometimes repeatedly given from a low perch, may reveal its presence.

Length: 6.75"
Wingspan: 11.5"
Weight: 1.1 oz

Voice: The song is a melodious flute-like warble, mostly on one pitch, starting with a clear whistled single note. The call, commonly heard in winter, is a low chup or tuck.

Similar Species:

Swainson's Thrushes are similar, but have a very distinct buffy eye-ring and a strong buffy wash on the breast. The tail is the same color as the back, and is not reddish.
Gray-cheeked Thrushes have only a partial eye-ring and the tail does not contrast as sharply with the back.
The Hermit Thrush is the only brown thrush expected in Tennessee during the winter.
Habitat: The Hermit Thrush winters in moist forests with a dense understory, open woodlands, and especially in ravines and sheltered sites. It breeds in the interior of deciduous, mixed, and coniferous forest. In the Appalachians, it breeds in the high-elevation spruce-fir forest.

Diet: Insects and other arthropods, including fruit in winter.
Nesting and reproduction: The first breeding season record of an adult Hermit Thrush in Tennessee was in 1966 on Roan Mountain. As of the spring of 2009, no nests have been found.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 4 eggs with a range of 2 to 5 eggs.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 11 to 13 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, and the chicks fledge in 11 to 12 days.

Nest: Built by the female, the nest a bulky cup of grasses, leaves, mosses, twigs, rootlets, hair, mud, and lichens, and lined with finer material. It is placed on or near the ground, or low in small trees.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 20, 2021, 02:11:29 AM
Hermit Thrush, , continued

Status in Tennessee: The Hermit Thrush is an uncommon to fairly common migrant and winter resident across the state. It arrives in early October and departs by late April. A few pairs may possibly nest in the state and are restricted to the highest elevations (above 5,000 feet) in the mountains of East Tennessee. Continent wide, the population is slightly increasing.

Map of Hermit Thrush eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/hermit-thrush/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582055591150.gif)

Fun Facts:

East of the Rocky Mountains Hermit Thrush nests are usually found on the ground. In the West they are more likely to be found in trees.
The oldest known Hermit Thrush in the wild was 9 years 9 months old.
Obsolete English Names: dwarf thrush

Best places to see in Tennessee: Never an easy bird to see, the Hermit Thrush is fairly common in forests with a well developed understory from early October to late April. It might also be found above 5,000 feet on Roan Mountain from early May through late June.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/hermit-thrush-005.jpg)
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 20, 2021, 02:13:04 AM
Hermit Thrush, , continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/hermit-thrush-002.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/hermit-thrush-006.jpg)

Sources:
Jones, P. W. and T. M. Donovan. 1996. Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 20, 2021, 08:20:09 PM
Wood Thrush,
 Hylocichla mustelina
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/wood-thrush-00003.jpg)

The ethereal flutelike ee-oh-lay song of the Wood Thrush is one of the most hauntingly beautiful sounds in the Eastern forest.  Henry David Thoreau once wrote, "Whenever a man hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of heaven are not shut against him."

The Wood Thrush is found in larger woodlands across Tennessee from mid-April through mid-October, and though its population has been declining, it is still fairly common.  The breeding range extends across the eastern half of the United States and Wood Thrush migrate to Central America for the winter.

Description: This large forest thrush is just slightly smaller than an American Robin. The back of the head and nape are a bright orange-brown fading to olive-brown on the back and wings. The underparts are white with bold black spots; the legs are pink, and there is a bold white ring around the eye. Sexes are alike.

Length: 7.75"
Wingspan: 13"
Weight: 1.6 oz

Voice: The song is a melodic series of flute-like ee-oh-lay phrases, ending in a trill either higher or lower in pitch. The call is a rapid pit pit pit.

Similar Species:

Veery are reddish, not bright orange-brown, on the head and nape, and have few indistinct spots on the chest.
Hermit Thrushes have a reddish tail, but the rest of the upperparts are brown-olive. The spots on the chest are relatively indistinct and do not reach the belly.
Brown Thrashers are similar in color but have a long tail, wingbars, and streaks, not spots, on the chest. They live in scrubby areas rather than forests, but the two species can overlap on migration.
Habitat: Breeds in a wide variety of deciduous and mixed forests but needs a well-shaded understory, small trees with low, exposed branches, and a fairly open forest floor with leaf litter. Winters mostly in primary, broad-leaved forests at lower elevations.

Diet: Invertebrates and fruits; the latter are especially important during migration.

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 20, 2021, 08:23:53 PM
Wood Thrush, continued

Nesting and reproduction: Wood Thrushes often raise two broods of young in a single nesting season. In fragmented forests they are a fairly common host to the Brown-headed Cowbird resulting in lower nesting success.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 or 4 eggs with 2 to 5 being rare.

Incubation: The female alone incubates the eggs for about two weeks.

Fledging: Both parents feed the nestlings, and the young leave the nest when about two weeks old becoming independent in 3 to 4 weeks.

Nest: The female builds the cup-nest of dead leaves and grasses held together with mud and lined with rootlets and grasses. It takes her approximately 3 to 6 days to complete the nest. It is usually placed in the fork of a horizontal or upward-sloping branch, often the lowest branch of a tree. In Tennessee nest heights range from 5 to 25 feet, with an average of 10 feet.

Status in Tennessee: While the Wood Thrush is still a relatively common summer resident across Tennessee, the Breeding Bird Survey reports a significantly declining population trend since 1966 when the survey began.

Destruction and fragmentation of forests in both breeding and wintering areas are factors in this decline. Wood Thrushes are present in the state from the first half of April until mid-October. The National Audubon Society has included the Wood Thrush as a Watch List Species.

Fun Facts:

Thrushes have a complicated syrinx (song box) that allows them to sing two notes simultaneously, thus harmonizing with their own voice.
Wood Thrushes are site faithful, often returning to the same breeding and wintering territory annually.
Recent studies at Cornell indicate that increased amounts of acid rain make the Wood Thrush less likely to breed. One reason is that acid rain can cause calcium to leach from the soil, and in an environment of reduced calcium, female birds may lay eggs that are thin, brittle, and porous.
The oldest known Wood Thrush in the wild was 8 years 11 months old.
Obsolete English Names: wood robin

Best places to see in Tennessee: Wood Thrushes may be found in most large tracks of deciduous forest across the state. High densities have been recorded in the Smoky Mountains and Cumberland Mountains.


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/wood-thrush-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/wood-thrush-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/wood-thrush-002.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/wood-thrush-00003.jpg)
Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Roth, R. R., M. S. Johnson and T. J. Underwood. 1996. Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.



Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 21, 2021, 01:23:39 AM
American Robin, Turdus migratorius

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/american-robin-007.jpg)

The American Robin is a familiar neighborhood bird tugging at earthworms on suburban lawns across the United States in summer. Surprisingly, it is also one of the most common birds at the northern limit of the boreal forest in the arctic! In winter these robins retreat to the lower 48 states and often roost in large flocks, sometimes numbering into the hundreds of thousands. More northerly nesters join Tennessee's resident birds during the non-breeding season.

Description: The American Robin is a large thrush with a gray back and wings, a plain orange breast, and a white lower belly. The head is dark with white crescents above and below the eye. The tail is moderately long with white spots at corners of the outer tail feathers.

The female is slightly paler than the male; the juvenile (May-September) looks somewhat similar to the adult, but with black spotting on the underparts and pale spotting on the upperparts.

Length: 10"
Wingspan: 17"
Weight: 2.7 oz

Voice: The song is a series of melodious liquid phrases, cheerup cheerily cheerily. Calls include a rapid tut tut tut and a chuckling horse-like whinny.

Similar Species:

No other North American bird is gray on the back and wings and has a plain orange breast.
Habitat: Found in forests, woodlands, and gardens. Common in urban and suburban areas, especially where short-grass areas are interspersed with shrubs and trees.

Diet: American Robins eat invertebrates, especially earthworms, and fruit.

Nesting and reproduction: In Tennessee American Robins usually raise two broods of young. Many start nesting in late winter, but peak egg laying is in mid-April.

Clutch Size: 3 to 5 eggs with 4 eggs most frequent.

Incubation: Females incubate the eggs for 12 to 14 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young. Fledglings leave the nest in about two weeks and remain dependent on their parents for another two weeks. Second broods are frequently begun before the fledglings from the first brood are fully independent.

Nest: The female builds an open cup-nest of grass and twigs held together with a thick layer of mud and lined with fine dry grass. The nest is usually relatively low in a tree on a firm branch with dense foliage, in the crotch of a large shrub, or occasionally on a ledge or other part of a building. In Tennessee nest heights range from 3 to 40 feet with an average of 11 feet. Old nests may be reused, but more frequently a new nest is build for the next brood.

Status in Tennessee: The American Robin is a common permanent resident across the state. The population in Tennessee, as well as rangewide, is increasing.

Map of American Robin eBird observations in Tennessee
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 21, 2021, 01:31:01 AM
Gray Catbird
Dumetella carolinensis

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/gray-catbird-005.jpg)

This secretive bird of dense thickets gets its name from the cat-like mew call that it makes. The Gray Catbird's song is an exuberant series of musical whistles and catlike meows interspersed with imitations of other birds' songs. It may start singing before dawn and continue until after dusk, being one of the last birds to settle in for the night.

The Gray Catbird breeds across southern Canada and in all but the southwestern states.  In winter it is found along the East Coast and around the Gulf of Mexico into Central America and the Caribbean.  The Gray Catbird is fairly common in Tennessee from late April until October with a few individuals spending the winter scattered across the state.

Description: This is a plain gray, medium-sized songbird with a black cap, a long, black tail that is often cocked, and chestnut colored undertail coverts. The sexes are alike.

Length: 8.5"
Wingspan: 11"
Weight: 1.3 oz

Voice: The male Gray Catbird sings a long series of variable squeaks, whistles, and melodious notes. These notes can include imitations of other birds' songs, frogs, or even mechanical sounds. The call is a very cat-like mew. Females will also sing softly on occasion.

Similar Species:

Northern Mockingbirds are paler gray with white in the wings and tail.
Brown Thrashers or Northern Mockingbirds also mimic other bird species. Catbirds tend to repeat notes once, whereas thrashers repeat notes twice, and mockingbirds often repeat notes three or more times.
Habitat: Found in dense, shrubby habitats, such as abandoned farmland, fencerows, roadsides, streamsides, forest edges, and some residential areas.

Diet: Insects and small fruits.

Nesting and reproduction: Gray Catbirds only defend territories in a limited area around the nest. Adults may leave their territory to feed with other catbirds in undefended areas. In Tennessee they often raise two broods.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 5 eggs with 4 eggs most common in Tennessee. Peak egg laying occurs in mid-May and extends into early July.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for about 14 days and is often fed by her mate.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge in about 11 days. They remain dependent on the adults for another two weeks.

Nest: The bulky nest, mainly constructed by the female, is made of twigs, grasses, and weed stems and lined with finer material. It is placed in a dense shrub, a small tree, or in vines.

Status in Tennessee: The Gray Catbird is an uncommon to fairly common summer resident across the state and a rare winter resident.  Most birds arrive in mid- to late April and depart by October.

Numbers have declined significantly since 1980 in Tennessee. The reasons for the decline are not known, but a decrease in suitable nesting habitat resulting from maturing forests, and a trend toward "cleaner" farms with fewer fencerows may be a contributing factor.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 21, 2021, 01:40:08 AM
Gray Catbird, continued


Map of Gray Catbird eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/gray-catbird/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582054940869.gif)

Fun Facts:

Gray Catbirds are able to sing such complicated songs partly because they have a complicated syrinx (song box) that allows them to sing two notes simultaneously.
The male Gray Catbird will sing loudly when announcing or defending his territory and more softly when near the nest or when an intruding catbird is nearby. The female may sing the quiet song back to her mate.
Unlike most songbirds Gray Catbirds can identify Brown-headed Cowbirds eggs and will eject them from their nests. This prevents catbirds from raising cowbird young at the expense of their own nestlings.
The oldest known Gray Catbird in the wild was 17 years 11 months old.
Obsolete English Names: common catbird, northern catbird

Best places to see in Tennessee: This species is never easy to see but can be easily heard in dense shrubby habitats, especially in the eastern two-thirds of the state.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/gray-catbird-004.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/gray-catbird-002.jpg)
Sources:

Cimprich, D. A. and F. R. Moore. 1995. Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.


Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 21, 2021, 10:26:28 AM
Comming soon!

The state bird of Tennessee...
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 25, 2021, 01:25:48 PM
Northern Mockingbird,
Mimus polyglottos

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-mockingbird-002.jpg)

The Northern Mockingbird is the Tennessee state bird. The scientific name is appropriately Mimus polyglottos, translated as "many-tongued mimic." The name highlights the mockingbird's ability to mimic not only dozens of other birds' songs, but also man-made devices such as musical instruments, warning bells, cell phones, car horns, and creaky hinges.

The mockingbird is known to many homeowners by its (some would describe obnoxious) habitat of singing on moonlit spring nights. These songsters usually unmated males, but in well-lit areas, even mated males may sing at night.

The Northern Mockingbird is very territorial and will dive and attack intruders, including homeowners and their pets, and may even attack its own reflection in a window!

The Northern Mockingbird is a year round resident across most of the continental United States to southern Mexico and the Caribbean. Although populations have recently declined in the southern part of its range, mockingbirds have expanded northward during the past century, especially in suburbs with berry producing ornamental shrubs.

Description: This medium-sized songbird is gray above and white below. The darker wings have 2 white wingbars, and the white patches in the wings are conspicuous in flight. The tail is long with white outer tail feathers and is often held in a cocked position. Males and females look alike.

Length: 10"
Wingspan: 14"
Weight: 1.7 oz

Voice: Each individual mockingbird has a unique mix of original and imitated phrases that are repeated three or more times. The call note is an abrasive check. Both male and female sing in fall to claim feeding territories.

Similar Species:

Loggerhead Shrikes have black wings with less white, a black mask, and fly with wingbeats too fast to count.
Gray Catbirds are darker gray all over, without white in the wings and tail.
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are similar in color, but are significantly smaller, lack much white in wing, and have a white eye-ring.
Habitat: Northern Mockingbirds are found in areas with open ground and shrubby vegetation such as in parkland, cultivated land, and suburbs. They are especially fond of invasive multiflora rose thickets.

Diet: Ants, beetles, grasshoppers, seeds and berries.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 25, 2021, 01:28:19 PM
Northern Mockingbird,, continued

Nesting and reproduction: Some adults may spend the entire year as a pair on a single territory, while others establish distinct breeding and wintering territories. In Tennessee the breeding season extends from late March into August with pairs producing as many as 4 broods in one season.

Clutch Size: Normally 3 to 5 eggs.

Incubation: Females alone incubate the eggs for 12 to 13 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge in about 12 days.

Nest: The male and female build the open cup-nest of dead twigs lined with grasses, rootlets, and dead leaves. It is placed low in dense shrubs, deciduous trees, and small evergreens. Nest heights in Tennessee have been reported from ground level to 52 feet high, but most are below 7 feet.

Status in Tennessee: The Northern Mockingbird is still a common permanent resident across the state though it has been declining for several decades. The reasons for the decline are not known, but the maturing forests and a trend toward "cleaner" farms with fewer fencerows in the state may be a contributing factor.

Map of Northern Mockingbird eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/northern-mockingbird/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582757674290.gif)

Fun Facts:

The Northern Mockingbird was named the official state bird of Tennessee in 1933.
Nestling mockingbirds banded in Nashville have been recaptured 200 miles away!
Like the Gray Catbird, mockingbirds are able to differentiate Brown-headed Cowbirds eggs from their own. Mockingbirds will eject cowbird eggs from the nest, preventing decreased nesting success caused by this nest parasite.
A male's song repertoire may contain as many as 200 distinct song types. These songs may change during his adult life and increase in number with age. Songs are acquired through imitating the calls and songs of other birds, the vocalizations of non-avian species, mechanical sounds, and the sounds of other mockingbirds.
The Northern Mockingbird typically sings throughout most of the year: from February through August and again from September through early November. A male may have two distinct repertoires of songs: one for spring and another for fall. One study found only a one percent overlap in song types used in spring and fall.
The female Northern Mockingbird sings too, although usually more quietly than the male. She rarely sings in the summer, usually only when the male is away from the territory. She sings more in the fall perhaps to establish a winter territory.
The Northern Mockingbird frequently gives a "wing flash" display, where it opens its wings in a jerky fashion. It has been suggested that they do this to startle insects and make them easier to catch.
The oldest known Northern Mockingbird in the wild was 14 years 10 months old.
Obsolete English Names: mockingbird
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 25, 2021, 01:30:33 PM
Northern Mockingbird,, continued

Best places to see in Tennessee: Most easily seen in suburban areas across the state, anywhere with dense berry-producing shrubs.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-mockingbird-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-mockingbird-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-mockingbird-003.jpg)

Sources:

Derrickson, K. C. and R. Breitwisch. 1992. Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 28, 2021, 08:43:34 AM
Brown Thrasher,
Toxostoma rufum

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/brown-thrasher.jpg)

While not quite as good a mimic as the Northern Mockingbird, the Brown Thrasher sings a remarkably varied array of phrases that it usually repeats 2 or 3 times.

The male will sing from a high exposed perch starting in March, and as the breeding season progresses, the song rate decreases until the male virtually stops singing by July.  The Brown Thrasher breeds across the eastern United States and southern Canada, and it spends the winter in the southeastern states. It is a year round resident in Tennessee.

Description: This large, long-tailed songbird is bright reddish-brown above with buffy-white underparts that are streaked with black. It has a long slightly down-curved black bill, and 2 whitish wingbars. The sexes look alike.

Length: 11.5"
Wingspan: 13"
Weight: 2.4 oz

Voice: The song is a series of musical phrases, usually repeated two and sometimes three times. The call is a bold smack. Brown Thrashers seldom mimic other birds. The male often sings from a high exposed perch.

Similar Species:

Wood Thrushes are similar in color, but have round spots on breast, not streaks, a shorter tail, and no wingbars.
Habitat: Found in a variety of shrubby habitats including hedgerows, shrubby thickets, open cedar forests, roadsides, and woodland edges. Often close to human habitation.

Diet: Mainly insects (especially beetles) during the breeding season and fruits and nuts in fall and winter.

Nesting and reproduction: Brown Thrashers often raise 2 broods in Tennessee. Young fledge relatively quickly for a passerine of this size, sometimes leaving the nest fully feathered in 9 days. This is likely an adaptation to reduce nest predation, which is common in shrub-nesting species.

Clutch Size: 4 to 5 eggs with a range of 2 to 6.

Incubation: Both sexes incubate the eggs for 11 to 14 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which fledge in 9 to 13 days.

Nest: Both adults build the bulky cup-nest of twigs and leaves and line it with rootlets. Nests are placed in thick shrubbery, vines, a small tree, or occasionally on the ground. Nest heights average 5 feet above the ground in Tennessee and range from on the ground (rare) to 12 feet.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 28, 2021, 08:45:58 AM
Brown Thrasher,, continued

Status in Tennessee: This statewide resident is fairly common in summer and uncommon in winter. Numbers have been declining in Tennessee since the 1960s possibly due to maturing forests and the habit of "cleaning" fencerows in agricultural areas.

Map of Brown Thrasher eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/brown-thrasher/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580155935565.gif)

Fun Facts:

An aggressive defender of its nest, the Brown Thrasher has been known to (although rarely) strike people and dogs hard enough to draw blood.
Brown Thrashers have long, heavy legs characteristic of a ground foraging bird. They spend considerable time using their long, slightly curved bill to sweep the leaf litter uncovering insects, fallen seeds, and berries.
The oldest known Brown Thrasher in the wild was 11 years 11 months old.
Obsolete English Names: brown thrush

Best places to see in Tennessee: While Brown Thrashers are found across the state, they are most conspicuous when singing from exposed perches in early spring.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 28, 2021, 08:48:18 AM
Brown Thrasher,, continued


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/brown-thrasher-004.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/brown-thrasher-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/brown-thrasher-003.jpg)

Sources:

Cavitt, J. F. and C. A. Haas. 2000. Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 28, 2021, 08:52:46 AM
European Starling,
 Sturnus vulgaris

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/european-starling-004.jpg)


There are over 200 million European Starlings in North America today.  They are all descendants of the 100 birds released in New York's Central Park in the early 1890s by a group dedicated to introducing all of the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's plays into America.

The play that featured the starling was Henry IV: "Nay, I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but 'Mortimer'..." Starlings are very good mimics and were a popular cage bird in Europe.

They first appeared in Tennessee in 1921, and by 1970 they had spread to upper Alaska.  European Starlings now breed across all of North America and only the Canadian birds migrate south in winter.

Starlings became established so easily because they are habitat generalists able to exploit a large variety of habitats, nest sites, and food sources.

They will eat almost anything from French fries to an array of invertebrates, small vertebrates, fruits, and seeds. While they do eat some insects that are harmful to crops, starlings are thought to do more harm than good. They steal grain, ravage crops, and out-compete native birds for winter fruits.

Regardless of how loud and obnoxious the huge winter flocks can be, their aerial displays performed before roosting are beautiful and impressive.

Description: This stocky, Blackbird has a short square-tipped tail, a long pointed bill, and walks rather than hops. In flight, the wings are short and pointed.

The feathers are glossy black tipped in white in winter giving the bird a speckled appearance.

These white feather tips wear off by spring leaving a shimmering green-and-purple glossy plumage. The bill is dark in winter and yellow in spring. The male and female look the same; the juvenile (May-August) is a drab gray-brown all over.

In the fall molting, juveniles may have patches of gray and black.

Length: 8.5"
Wingspan: 16"
Weight: 2.7 oz

Voice: The song is a variety of trills, whistles, chatters, and twitters. The European Starling is known to mimic other birds including Eastern Meadowlark, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Eastern Wood-Pewee. They give a variety of calls including a sliding wolf-whistle. Females also sing, but mostly in the fall.

Similar Species:

Blackbirds have slimmer bodies, longer tails, and shorter, thicker bills. No blackbird has a yellow bill.
Juvenile and female Brown-headed Cowbirds are similar in color to juvenile starlings, but cowbirds have a longer tail, a slimmer body, and a much stouter and shorter bill.

Habitat: Found in a variety of habitats especially near people in agricultural and urban areas.

Diet: Broad diet of many kinds of invertebrates, small vertebrates, fruits, grains, seeds, and garbage.

Nesting and reproduction: European Starlings are cavity nesters and may negatively impact several native birds including woodpeckers,

Great Crested Flycatchers, Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds, and Purple Martins by competing with them for nest sites (see fun facts below).

Starlings in Tennessee appear to only occasionally produce a second brood.

Clutch Size: 3 to 7 eggs with 4 to 5 eggs most common.

Incubation: Both adults incubate the eggs for 12 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the chicks, which fledge in 21 to 23 days. Unlike many birds, the fledglings are fully feathered and fly well when they leave the nest. They are independent of the adults in three to four days and form flocks with other juveniles.

Nest: Inside the cavity, adults build a nest of grass, fresh green vegetation, or pine needles and may also include feathers, paper, plastic, and string. Nests can be located 2 to 60 feet above the ground, but an average of 10 to 25 feet.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 28, 2021, 08:54:32 AM
European Starling,, continued

Status in Tennessee: The European Starling is an abundant permanent resident of all developed portions of the state. During winter, migrant starlings join resident starlings and blackbirds and form large nocturnal roosts that can number in the hundreds of thousands.

The population appears to be stable in Tennessee, but slightly decreasing range-wide. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act does not protect European Starlings.

Map of European Starling eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/grassland-and-shrub-birds/european-starling/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1581275343482.gif)

Fun Facts:

The first starlings recorded in Tennessee were found in December 1921 in both Nashville and Bluff City, Sullivan Co. The first nests were reported in 1925 in Bristol and Knoxville. By 1935 starlings were nesting in Memphis. They are now the second most abundant bird species reported on Tennessee Breeding Bird Survey routes.
The muscles of the European Starling jaw work "backward." Instead of using most of their power to clamp the bill shut, the muscles spring the bill open. This allows the bird to insert the closed bill into the ground or into an object and then pry it open. The eyes have the ability to then move forward giving it binocular vision.
Starlings are fierce competitors for nest cavities and frequently expel native bird species. They are believed to be responsible for a decline in native cavity-nesting bird populations, but a study in 2003 found few actual effects on populations of 27 native birds. Only sapsuckers showed declines because of starlings, and other species appeared to be holding their own against the invaders.
Typically, cavity nesters lay their eggs on nests of dead grass, a bed of chips or feathers, but starlings build nests that include fresh green vegetation that acts as fumigants against parasites and pathogens inside their chambers.
European Starlings are eaten in the Netherlands, Spain, and France. In France tinned starling pate (pate de sansonnet) is available in many stores, including airport duty-free shops.
The oldest known European Starling in the wild was 15 years 3 months old.
Best places to see in Tennessee: European Starlings can be found in all developed areas of the state.

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on September 28, 2021, 08:56:21 AM
European Starling,, continued
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/european-starling-005.jpg)
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/european-starling-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/european-starling-002.jpg)

Sources:
Cabe, P. R. 1993. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Withers, D. I. 2000. Origins of the European Starling in the United States.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 01, 2021, 01:55:12 AM
Cedar Waxwing,
Bombycilla cedrorum
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/cedar-waxwing-003.jpg)

The Cedar Waxwing has a black mask, a short crest, and unusually silky cinnamon-brown plumage.  The "waxy" red tips on the secondary flight feathers of some adult birds is not always easy to see, and their function is unknown.

Unlike most North American birds, the Cedar Waxwing is primarily a fruit eater and many aspects of its life history, from its nomadic habits to its late-season nesting, reflects this diet preference.  Cedar Waxwings are very social birds and are known to sit side by side and pass a berry or insect from one to the other until one bird eats it.

The breeding range extends across Canada and the northern United States south to northern Georgia, and Cedar Waxwings winter throughout the United States into Mexico and Central America.

Description: These sleek birds have a distinctive crest, a black mask and chin patch, a soft cinnamon-colored plumage, grayish pointed wings, and a grayish tail with a yellow terminal band. Not all birds have red waxy tips on the secondaries. The sexes are nearly alike, but the chin patch on the male is more extensive and darker than on the female; juveniles (July-January) are mottled gray-brown.

Length: 7.25"
Wingspan: 12"
Weight: 1.1 oz

Voice: The call is a very high, thin whistle. Waxwings call frequently, especially in flight.

Similar Species:

No other bird found in Tennessee has a yellow terminal band on the tail. Also, the combination of soft cinnamon-colored plumage, head crest, and black mask make it an easy bird to identify.
Habitat: Cedar Waxwings breed in woodland edges, old fields with shrubs and small trees, riparian areas, farms, and suburban gardens. They winter in areas with fruit-bearing trees and shrubs, especially open woodlands, parks, gardens, and forest edges.

Diet: Primarily fruit, but also insects

Nesting and reproduction: Cedar Waxwings are among the latest nesting birds in North America, and this enables them to capitalize on the abundance of fruit in late summer and early fall.  In Tennessee nest construction peaks in early June and nesting extends into August. Waxwings defend only a small territory and sometimes form small nesting colonies.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 to 5 eggs.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for about 12 days with the male bringing her food.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young insects for the first few days and then mostly fruit. The nestlings fledge at about 15 days old, but stay close to the nest and are fed by the parents for another 6 to 10 days. They may then join a flock with other juvenile birds.

Nest: Both members of the pair help build the nest, which is usually on a horizontal branch or fork of a deciduous or coniferous tree. The nest is a loose, open cup made of grass and twigs, lined with moss, rootlets, fine grass, bark, and hair. The average height in Tennessee is 26 feet.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 01, 2021, 01:57:10 AM
Cedar Waxwing, , continued

Status in Tennessee: Cedar Waxwings are fairly common breeders in East Tennessee and uncommon breeders in the western part of the state. They are uncommon winter residents and fairly common migrants across the state.  Cedar Waxwing numbers have increased significantly in Tennessee since 1966; the rate of increase is one of the highest of any native bird.

Map of Cedar Waxwing eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/cedar-waxwing/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580157116534.gif)

Fun Facts:

Some scientists think that the waxy red tips found on the secondary wing feathers of some individuals may serve a role in mate selection. The number and size of the wax tips increase as the bird ages.
Brown-headed Cowbirds that are raised in Cedar Waxwing nests typically don't survive, in part because the cowbird chicks are not able to grow on the high-fruit diet that the parents feed their nestlings.
Cedar Waxwings may become intoxicated after eating fruit that has fermented. Flocks of impaired individuals have been known to simultaneously hit large glass windows when scared by a predator or a human, resulting in mass casualties and fatalities.
Obsolete English Names: cedar bird, cherry bird

Best places to see in Tennessee: Cedar Waxwings are most commonly found as breeders in the Cumberland Mountains and in the mountains of East Tennessee. Flocks of up to a few hundred birds are patchily distributed across the state in winter where fruits are available.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 01, 2021, 02:01:23 AM
Cedar Waxwing, , continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/cedar-waxwing-002.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/cedar-waxwing-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/cedar-waxwing-006.jpg)

Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Witmer, M. C., D. J. Mountjoy and L. Elliot. 1997. Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum), The Birds of North America, No. 309 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.


Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 04, 2021, 01:28:15 AM
Prothonotary Warbler
Protonotaria citrea

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/prothonotary-warbler-005.jpg)

The Prothonotary Warbler apparently acquired its current name from Louisiana Creoles in the 18th century.  They thought the bird's plumage resembled the yellow robes of the prothonotaries, a Catholic church official who advises the Pope.

The Prothonotary Warbler is unique among eastern warblers because it nests in tree cavities in flooded forests.

It is found during the breeding season across much of the eastern United States ranging from Florida to eastern Texas and north to Wisconsin and New Jersey.  The breeding stronghold for the species, however, is in the lowlands of the southeastern United States, especially the Mississippi Alluvial Valley.

Prothonotary Warblers spend the nonbreeding season in mangrove swamps in southern Central America and northern South America.  The highest concentration is in Costa Rica, Panama, and northern Colombia.

The Prothonotary Warbler is present in Tennessee from early April to early August.

Description: This small songbird has a golden-yellow head and chest.  The bird has a bright black eye, solid gray wings, and a white belly.

The male and female are similar, but the female is slightly duller and less golden. The plumage of the Prothonotary Warbler does not change during the non-breeding season.

Length: 5.5"
Wingspan: 8.75
Weight: 0.56 oz

Voice: The song is a series of clear, emphatic, ringing notes given at the same pitch: sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet. The call is a very loud, dry chip.

Similar Species:

The Prothonotary Warbler is unique in appearance and unlikely to be confused with any other species.
Habitat: Prothonotary Warblers breed in wooded swamps, flooded bottomland forests, and along slow-moving rivers.

Diet: They eat insects and snails during the breeding season. On the wintering grounds, this species will also eat fruits, seeds, and nectar along with insects.

Nesting and reproduction: The Prothonotary Warbler is the only cavity-nesting eastern warbler.

It especially likes abandoned Downy Woodpecker holes but will use the holes of other woodpeckers, natural cavities, and will readily accept artificial nest boxes.

About half of the females in Tennessee will attempt a second nesting after completing the first.

Clutch Size: They usually 5 eggs, with a range of 3 to 6.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 14 days, with the male occasionally bringing her food.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which leave the nest after 10 days. The fledglings are dependent on the adults for another 3 to 4 weeks. If the female finds another nest, the male will care for all the fledglings.

Nest: Inside an abandoned woodpecker hole or other natural cavities, the female builds a nest using mostly mosses and liverworts. It takes approximately 3 to 5 days to build the nest. The average nest height in Tennessee is about 6.5 feet. Nest Box Instructions here.

Status in Tennessee: The Prothonotary Warbler is a common summer resident found in cypress swamps and river bottomland forests.  It arrives from the end of March to the beginning of April and departs in late July to early August.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 04, 2021, 01:30:35 AM
Prothonotary Warbler, continued

The population appears to be stable in Tennessee but slightly declining elsewhere in the range.

Map of Prothonotary Warbler eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/prothonotary-warbler/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1593437710702.gif)

Conservation: The Prothonotary Warbler is on the National Audubon Society Watch List because of the continuing destruction of mangroves on their wintering grounds.

Fun Facts:

If a fledgling Prothonotary Warbler lands in the water after its first flight, it can swim to safety.
The Prothonotary Warbler is one of only two warbler species that breed in cavities. The other species is Lucy's Warbler found in the southwestern United States.
Obsolete English Names: golden swamp warbler

Best places to see in Tennessee: Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park and Wildlife Management Area, Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge, Reelfoot Lake area, Tennessee River, Duck River, Hatchie River valleys. There is often a breeding pair on the dam at Radnor Lake State Park.

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 04, 2021, 01:34:00 AM
Prothonotary Warble, continued

Fun Facts:

If a fledgling Prothonotary Warbler lands in the water after its first flight, it can swim to safety.
The Prothonotary Warbler is one of only two warbler species that breed in cavities. The other species is Lucy's Warbler found in the southwestern United States.
Obsolete English Names: golden swamp warbler

Best places to see in Tennessee: Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park and Wildlife Management Area, Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge, Reelfoot Lake area, Tennessee River, Duck River, Hatchie River valleys. There is often a breeding pair on the dam at Radnor Lake State Park.



(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/prothonotary-warbler-004.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/prothonotary-warbler-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/prothonotary-warbler-002.jpg)

Sources:
Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Petit, L. J. 1999. Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 04, 2021, 05:06:44 PM
Common Yellowthroat

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/common-yellowthroat-004.jpg)

The sprightly Common Yellowthroat usually stays low in thick marshy or brushy vegetation, and is often hard to see.  The bold black mask of the male and his distinctive wich-i-ty, wich-i-ty, wich-i-ty song makes this an easy warbler to identify.

The Common Yellowthroat breeds from western Canada across North America and spends the non-breeding season in the coastal southeastern states, throughout Mexico and Central America, and the Caribbean.

In Tennessee it is found statewide from mid-April to late October, and occasionally through the winter.

Description: The Common Yellowthroat is plain olive-green above and yellow below with a grayish belly. The male has a broad black mask bordered with white; the female lacks the mask and is duller overall.
Length: 5"
Wingspan: 6.75"
Weight: 0.35 oz

Voice: The song is a series of three wich-i-ty, wich-i-ty, wich-i-ty notes. The call note is a distinctive, husky chip along with a raspy, scolding trill.

Similar Species:

Female Common Yellowthroats resemble female Connecticut Warbler and Mourning Warbler, except they have dusky or grayish hoods and entirely yellow underparts. Both Connecticut and Mourning Warblers are rare migrants in Tennessee and are not often seen or heard.
Habitat: Common Yellowthroats breed in a variety of brushy habitats including fencerows, grassy marshes, abandoned agricultural fields, and brushy pastures.

Diet: Insects and other small invertebrates, and occasionally seeds.

Nesting and reproduction: Pairs form shortly after the females arrive on the breeding grounds, and most pairs raise two broods a season. When the first brood fledges, the female starts the second brood, and the male feeds the fledglings.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 eggs, with a range of 1 to 6.

Incubation: The female incubates for 12 days, with the male occasionally bringing her food.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which leave the nest in 8 to 10 days. The parents continue to feed the young for at least two weeks following fledging.

Nest: The female selects the nest site and builds the nest, usually in low, thick vegetation. The nest is a loose, bulky cup, sometimes with a partial roof, made of weeds, grass, sedge, and leaves, and lined with fine bark, grass, and hair.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 04, 2021, 05:10:23 PM
Common Yellowthroat,continued

Status in Tennessee: The Common Yellowthroat is a common summer resident and one of the most abundant of the wood warblers nesting in Tennessee.  It usually arrives in mid-April and departs by late October.

There are several winter records for this species in the state. The population has been declining in Tennessee and elsewhere in its range for several years.

Map of Common Yellowthroat eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/common-yellowthroat/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1580332310462.gif)


Fun Facts:

The Common Yellowthroat was first collected in what is now Maryland, and described by Carl Linnaeus in 1766, making it one of the first species of birds to be described from the New World.
Common Yellowthroats are monogamous within a breeding season and only infrequently will males have two mates in their territory. Females, however, are not faithful to their mates and often attract other males with their calls for extra-pair copulations.
Obsolete English Names: northern yellowthroat, southern yellowthroat, Maryland yellowthroat.

Best places to see in Tennessee: This species is common in thick shrubby vegetation across the state from mid-April to late-October.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/common-yellowthroat-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/common-yellowthroat-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/common-yellowthroat-008.jpg)

Sources:

Guzy, M. J. and G. Ritchison. 1999. Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), The Birds of North America, No. 448 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 09, 2021, 12:51:56 AM
Northern Parula
Setophaga americana

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-parula-004.jpg)

The Northern Parula is the smallest eastern wood-warbler and although it is an active bird, its habit of foraging high in trees at the tips of branches makes it a difficult bird to observe.  The song, a rising buzzy trill, ending with an abrupt lower tsup, is a typical sound in the bottomland and ravine forests across Tennessee in the spring.

The Northern Parula arrives in early April and departs in late September.  The breeding range extends across the eastern half of the United States from southeastern Canada to the Gulf Coast.  In the non-breeding season, the Northern Parula can be found from southern Mexico to Honduras, in the Caribbean, and at the southern tip of Florida.

Description: The Northern Parula is a small, short-necked, short-tailed, active warbler.  It is gray-blue above with a yellowish-green upper back, two bold white wing bars, a bright yellow throat and breast, a white belly, and a white eye-ring broken by a black eye-line.  The male and female look similar but the male has an obvious breast-band of reddish-brown and black.

Length: 4.5"
Wingspan: 7"
Weight: 0.3 oz

Voice: The song is an up-slurred buzzy trill, usually ending with an abrupt lower tsup. Chip note is sharp.

Similar Species:

In appearance, the Northern Parula does not look similar to any other eastern warbler. The song, however, is similar to the Cerulean Warbler. Cerulean song lacks the last abrupt lower tsup note of the Northern Parula and the overall tone of the song is different.
Habitat: Bottomland, riparian, and ravine woodlands.

Diet: Insects and spiders.

Nesting and reproduction: Most nests are built in hanging bunches of epiphytic growth such as Spanish moss or lichens.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 to 5 eggs, occasionally 3 to 7.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 14 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young. Because nests are so difficult to observe, the number of days to fledging is unknown.

Nest: The few nests described in Tennessee are constructed of Usnea lichen, in clusters of evergreen needles or deciduous leaves. In Tennessee, nests range in height from 9 to 95 feet, with an average of 51 feet above the ground.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 09, 2021, 12:52:40 AM
Northern Parulacontinued
Status in Tennessee: The Northern Parula is uncommon to fairly common summer resident of bottomland, riparian, and ravine woodlands across the state. The population in Tennessee has been increasing in recent years.

Map of Northern Parula eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/northern-parula/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1582757675288.gif)

Fun Facts:

Mark Catesby first described the Northern Parula as a Finch Creeper in 1731, and John James Audubon named it the Blue Yellow-backed Warbler in the 1840s.
There is a gap in the breeding distribution from Massachusetts and Connecticut westward. It is unknown if this gap is natural or caused by increased air pollution, which limits the growth of epiphytes that the warbler depends on for nest construction.
Obsolete English Names: blue yellow-backed warbler
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 09, 2021, 12:53:23 AM
Northern Parulacontinued

Best places to see in Tennessee: Bottomland, riparian, and ravine woodlands across the state.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-parula-002.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-parula-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-parula-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/northern-parula-007.jpg)

Sources:

M., Ralph R. and D. J. Regelski. 1996. Northern Parula (Parula americana), The Birds of North America No. 215 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 09, 2021, 06:01:49 AM
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Setophaga coronata
(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-rumped-warbler-009.jpg)

The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one of the most common warblers in North America and the only warbler to regularly winter in Tennessee.  It generally arrives in the state in late September and departs by mid-May.

A couple of other warblers that migrate through the state have yellow rumps, but none of those rumps are as conspicuous.  This distinctive yellow rump-patch has led birdwatchers to give it the affectionate name "butter-butt".

The broad breeding range of this bird stretches from Alaska south to Guatemala and east to the northeastern United States.  It is often abundant in winter in the southern United States, and travels as far as Mexico and the western Caribbean.  In Tennessee, it is commonly found in foraging flocks with Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice.

Description: This small songbird gets its name from the bright yellow rump-patch that both sexes possess year round.  During the non-breeding season, when Yellow-rumped Warblers are present in Tennessee, both the male and female are overall brown with two white wing-bars and a yellow patch on the sides of the breast.

Breeding plumage, which many birds will acquire before departing in the spring, is quite different. The eastern "Myrtle" form has dark-streaked gray upperparts, white wing-bars, a dark cheek-patch, white underparts with dark streaking on the chest, and yellow patches on the sides of the breast. The female is duller than the male.

Length: 5.5"
Wingspan: 9.25
Weight: 0.43 oz

Voice: The song is variable and is not likely to be heard in Tennessee until late winter. It consists of a loose 2-part trill, the second part being slightly lower pitched than the first. The call note is a very distinct check.

Similar Species:

Two other warbler species with yellow rumps migrate through Tennessee: the Magnolia Warbler and Cape May Warbler. Both species have yellow underparts in spring and often in the fall, and neither species has a rump as bright yellow as the Yellow-rumped Warbler.
Habitat: During the nonbreeding season, this warbler is found in almost any habitat and expands its diet to include a substantial amount of fruit.

Diet: Insects and some fruit.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 09, 2021, 06:04:08 AM
Yellow-rumped Warbler. continued

Status in Tennessee: This warbler is a common migrant, and a fairly common winter resident across the state from October through April.

Map of Yellow-rumped Warbler eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/yellow-rumped-warbler/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1584046041572.gif)
Fun Facts:

Until 1973 the Yellow-rumped Warbler was considered two species: the Myrtle Warbler in the East, and Audubon's Warbler in the West. Myrtle and Audubon's Warblers hybridize in the southern Canadian Rockies and based on this and DNA evidence, the two were combined into a single species.
The Yellow-rumped Warbler is the only warbler able to digest the waxy coats on bayberries and wax myrtles. Its ability to digest these fruits allows it to winter farther north than all other warblers.
Obsolete English Names: myrtle warbler
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 09, 2021, 06:06:19 AM
Yellow-rumped Warbler. continued

Best places to see in Tennessee: Can be found in mixed species foraging flocks in woodlands throughout the state from October through April.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-rumped-warbler-010.jpg)


(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-rumped-warbler-005.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-rumped-warbler-003.jpg)

Sources:

Hunt, P. D. and D. J. Flaspohler. 1998. Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata), The Birds of North America, No. 376 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 09, 2021, 04:08:50 PM
Yellow-breasted Chat
Icteria virens

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-breasted-chat-003.jpg)

Although Yellow-breasted Chats are found all across Tennessee, they are frequently overlooked because they keep themselves well hidden in dense brushy vegetation.  The best way to see this bird is in the spring when the male sings his remarkable song from a conspicuous perch.

The song is a jumble of clucks, whistles, cackles, and squawks, occasionally including a mimic of another bird's song.  This bright yellow-breasted songbird was long thought to be the largest of the wood-warblers.  However recent genetic data suggests it is not a warbler at all, but what it is hasn't been resolved.

The Yellow-breasted Chat's summer range extends across the eastern United States and southern Canada, southward to Texas and northern Florida; they are also found in scattered regions across the western United States to very northern Mexico.  Chats winter in Mexico and Central America. They can be found in Tennessee between mid-April and late September.

Description: This medium-sized songbird has a bright yellow chest and throat, solid olive-green back, wings and tail, a white belly, and a long rounded tail. The white around the eye extending to the bill gives the impression of white "spectacles." The female is similar to the male, but her colors are usually not quite as bright.

Length: 7.5"
Wingspan: 9.75"
Weight: 1.88 oz

Voice: The song is an unmusical jumble of clucks, whistles, cackles, and squawks, and occasionally includes a mimic of another bird's song.

Similar Species:

Yellow-throated Vireos are smaller, have two white wingbars, and are found in the canopy of deciduous trees.
Habitat: Chats breed in a variety of dense, brushy habitats including shrubby areas along streams, swamps, forest edges, fencerows, recently abandoned farmland, regenerating burned-over forest, and logged areas.

Diet: Small invertebrates, fruits.

Nesting and reproduction: Yellow-breasted Chats are territorial and usually monogamous. During the early breeding season, the male will occasionally perform a flight-song display where he flies up, hovers with exaggerated wingbeats dangling his legs, and then returns to his perch.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 5 eggs, with a range of 1 to 6.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 11 to 14 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which leave the nest in about 10 days after hatching.

Nest: The female builds the bulky cup of grasses, leaves, and weed stems, and lined with finer materials. It is placed low in a blackberry thicket or other dense shrub. Nest heights in Tennessee range from 1 foot to 6 feet, with an average height of 3 feet.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 09, 2021, 04:11:00 PM
Yellow-breasted Chat,continued

Status in Tennessee: The Yellow-breasted Chat is a common summer resident in low-elevation brushy areas throughout the state. They arrive in mid-April and depart in late September. Yellow-breasted Chat numbers have been declining in the state since the beginning of the Breeding Bird Survey in 1966.

Map of Yellow-breasted Chat eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/yellow-breasted-chat/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583271589562.gif)
Fun Facts:

The Yellow-breasted Chat is one of the few songbirds that will frequently sing at night.
Until recently the Yellow-breasted Chat was considered the most atypical New World warbler. The long-standing suspicion that it was not, in fact, a warbler was recently confirmed through genetic studies, but what it is most closely related to has not yet been determined.
Obsolete English Names: long-tailed chat
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 09, 2021, 04:14:00 PM
Yellow-breasted Chat,continued

Best places to see in Tennessee: Yellow-breasted Chats are found in shrubby habitats in every county. They are most abundant on the Cumberland Plateau and in Middle Tennessee.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-breasted-chat-007.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-breasted-chat-008.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/yellow-breasted-chat-006.jpg)

Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 13, 2021, 02:15:58 AM
Summer Tanager,
Piranga rubra

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/summer-tanager-003.jpg)

Also known in Tennessee as the "summer redbird," the Summer Tanager is one of the most striking birds that nests in the state. It is a bit difficult to see, however, because it prefers to forage high in the tree canopy. The song of the Summer Tanager can be confused with the song of the Scarlet Tanager, but their picky-tucky-tuck call is unique. Summer Tanagers breed across the southern United States to northern Mexico, and northward to southern Iowa and New Jersey; they spend the winter in Central and northern South America. They arrive in Tennessee in late April and migrate south by early October.

Description: The male and female look completely different. The male is entirely red and the female is a entirely dull yellow, but both have a stout pale bill. Males do not attain their fully red plumage until their second fall, so first-year breeding birds may be patterned yellow-orange and red. Males retain their red plumage throughout the year.
Length: 7.75"
Wingspan: 12"
Weight: 1 oz

Voice: The song is a series of robin-like musical phrases, some with a slightly buzzy quality. The call is a unique picky-tucky-tuck or pick it up pick it up.

Similar Species:

Male Northern Cardinals are overall red, but have a black face, conical red bill, and an obvious crest.
Scarlet Tanager males are overall scarlet-red, but have black wings; the female is overall greenish-yellow with darker wings and a thinner bill. These two tanagers can have overlapping territories in Tennessee.
The song of the Scarlet Tanager tends to be more hoarse, but similar to the Summer Tanager's song, however, their chik-burrr call, is distinctive.
Female orioles have white wing-bars and more pointed bills.
Habitat: Summer Tanagers breed in deciduous forests, and occasionally in pine-oak forests.

Diet: Summer Tanagers eat insects, especially bees and wasps, and some fruit outside of breeding season.

Nesting and reproduction: In Tennessee egg laying peaks in the second half of May.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 4 eggs, with a range of 2 to 5.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 14 days, and is frequently fed by the male.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge in about 10 days. Fledglings remain in the parent's territory for another 3 weeks.

Nest: The female builds the shallow cup-nest of dried or fresh grasses, weed stems, and lines it with fine grasses and rootlets. The nest is usually placed in a fork on a horizontal branch far from the trunk. Nest heights in Tennessee range from 4 feet to 30 feet, with an average of 13 feet.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 13, 2021, 02:18:20 AM
Summer Tanager,, continued

Status in Tennessee: The Summer Tanager is a fairly common summer resident of low elevation forests across the state. It arrives in Tennessee in late April and departs by early October. The population appears to be stable.

Map of Summer Tanager eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/summer-tanager/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583195851348.gif)

Fun Facts:

The Summer Tanager is a bee and wasp specialist. They capture bees and wasps in flight, killing them by beating them against a branch, and removing the stinger before consuming the insect.
Where Summer and Scarlet tanagers occur together, the Summer Tanager prefers to breed in shorter and more open woodlands.
Based on genetic studies, in 2009 taxonomists took Piranga tanagers from their own family (Thraupidae) and placed them in Cardinalidae with buntings, cardinals, and grosbeaks.
Older female Summer Tanagers may have some red feathers.
Obsolete English Names: summer redbird, Cooper's tanager
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 16, 2021, 06:33:30 AM
Summer Tanager,, continued


Best places to see in Tennessee: Summer Tanagers are most easily seen in the spring, before the trees leaf out, in mature forests in Middle and West Tennessee.

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/summer-tanager-004.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/summer-tanager-006.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/summer-tanager-007.jpg)

Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Robinson, W. Douglas. 1996. Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 16, 2021, 06:39:44 AM
Scarlet Tanager,
Piranga olivacea

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/scarlet-tanager-006.jpg)

The male Scarlet Tanager is one of the most brilliantly colored birds nesting in Tennessee.  Nevertheless, he can be overlooked because of his unobtrusive behavior and preference for the forest canopy.

The song of the Scarlet Tanager is reminiscent of a hoarse American Robin and is similar to the song of the Summer Tanager, but the chik-burr call-note is distinctive.

This tanager is a long distance migrant, flying from its breeding grounds across the east-central United States to northwestern South America where it spends the winter. Scarlet Tanagers arrive in Tennessee by mid-April and usually departing by mid-October.

Description: Male and female Scarlet Tanagers look completely different. The breeding plumage of the male is a brilliant scarlet-red with black wings and a black tail. The female is overall greenish-yellow with darker wings. At the end of the breeding season, males undergo a complete molt and look like the female, but with black wings and tail.

Length: 7"
Wingspan: 11.5"
Weight: 0.98 oz

Voice: The song is a series of hoarse robin-like musical phrases. Sometimes described as sounding like a robin with a sore throat. The call is a unique chik-burr.

Similar Species:

Summer Tanager males are a duller red with red wings and tail; the female is overall dull yellow. Summer Tanagers have a stouter bill.
The song of the Summer Tanager tends to be less hoarse, but similar to the Scarlet Tanager's song, however, their picky-tucky-tuck call is distinctive.
Female orioles have white wing-bars.
Habitat: Scarlet Tanagers require large continuous mature forest blocks for successful breeding. They winter in montane evergreen forests.

Diet: Primarily insects, with some worms, snails, fruits, and berries.

Nesting and reproduction: Scarlet Tanagers are monogamous, and raise one brood in a season.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 eggs, with a range of 1 to 6 eggs.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 13 to 14 days, and is frequently fed by the male.

Fledging: Both parents feed the nestlings insects and fruit, and the young fledge in about 15 days.

Nest: The female builds the shallow nest of twigs and weed stems, and lines it with fine grasses. The nest is placed on a horizontal branch, often far from the tree trunk, often among a cluster of leaves. Nest heights in Tennessee range from 7 feet to 40 feet, with an average of 23 feet.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 16, 2021, 06:41:42 AM
Scarlet Tanager, continued

Status in Tennessee: This summer resident can be found across the state in mature hardwood and mixed hardwood-pine forests. It is rare in the western and middle parts of the state, but fairly common in the east. Scarlet Tanagers can be found in the state from mid-April until mid-October, and their numbers have been increasing in Tennessee since the beginning of the Breeding Bird Survey in 1966.

Map of Scarlet Tanager eBird observations in Tennessee
(https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/scarlet-tanager/jcr%3acontent/contentFullWidth/tn_panel/content/tn_columnctrl/column_parsys1/tn_image_1649573820.img.gif/1583195124485.gif)

Fun Facts:

Scarlet Tanagers join mixed-species flocks with flycatchers, antbirds, woodcreepers, and resident tropical tanagers when on the wintering grounds in South America.
Female Scarlet Tanagers also sing. Their song is softer and less harsh and sung in response to her mate or when she is gathering nest material.
Obsolete English Names: black-winged redbird

Best places to see in Tennessee: Scarlet Tanagers are most easily seen in the spring before the trees leaf out.
Title: Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
Post by: Phyl on October 16, 2021, 06:43:21 AM
Scarlet Tanager, continued

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/scarlet-tanager-003.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/scarlet-tanager-004.jpg)

(https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/scarlet-tanager-005.jpg)

Sources:

Nicholson, C. P. 1997. Atlas of Breeding Birds of Tennessee. Univ. Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Mowbray, Thomas B. 1999. Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea), The Birds of North America (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.