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Author Topic: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE  (Read 9312 times)

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #150 on: September 21, 2021, 01:23:39 AM »

American Robin, Turdus migratorius



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
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:32:58 AM by Phyl »
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #151 on: September 21, 2021, 01:31:01 AM »

Gray Catbird
Dumetella carolinensis



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.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:33:13 AM by Phyl »
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #152 on: September 21, 2021, 01:40:08 AM »

Gray Catbird, continued


Map of Gray Catbird eBird observations in Tennessee


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.




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.


« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 12:33:44 AM by Phyl »
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

'A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.'
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Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #153 on: September 21, 2021, 10:26:28 AM »

Comming soon!

The state bird of Tennessee...
« Last Edit: September 23, 2021, 11:02:05 AM by Phyl »
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #154 on: September 25, 2021, 01:25:48 PM »

Northern Mockingbird,
Mimus polyglottos



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.
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #155 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


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
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #156 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.







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.
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #157 on: September 28, 2021, 08:43:34 AM »

Brown Thrasher,
Toxostoma rufum



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.
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #158 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


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.
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #159 on: September 28, 2021, 08:48:18 AM »

Brown Thrasher,, continued








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.
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #160 on: September 28, 2021, 08:52:46 AM »

European Starling,
 Sturnus vulgaris




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.
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #161 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


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.

'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #162 on: September 28, 2021, 08:56:21 AM »

European Starling,, continued





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.
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #163 on: October 01, 2021, 01:55:12 AM »

Cedar Waxwing,
Bombycilla cedrorum


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.
'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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #164 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


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

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