Raptor Resource Project Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Author Topic: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE  (Read 3259 times)

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #15 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.




'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2021, 02:41:29 AM »

Green Heron, continued...




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.
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2021, 06:58:38 PM »

Black-crowned Night Heron
Nycticorax nycticorax

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.
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #18 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







Black-crowned Night-Heron, Range Map


'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #19 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.
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Lani

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13574
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #20 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
All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful; The Lord God made them all....Author: Cecil F. Alexander

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2021, 09:06:31 AM »

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Nyctanassa violacea


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
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2021, 09:10:13 AM »

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron,  continued







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.
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2021, 09:16:10 AM »

Black Vulture
Coragyps atratus


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


'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2021, 09:19:22 AM »

Black Vulture, continued









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.
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #25 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.
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Linda M

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1606
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #26 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!!!

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2021, 06:34:02 PM »

Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura



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.

'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2021, 06:38:11 PM »

Turkey Vulture, continued

Dynamic map of Turkey Vulture eBird observations in Tennessee:


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.






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.





'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale

Phyl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3482
  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2021, 06:39:42 PM »


Comming soon:   the Bald Eagle
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
Edwin Way Teale