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Author Topic: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE  (Read 11050 times)

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #195 on: October 20, 2021, 12:52:37 AM »

Field Sparrow,, continued






ources:

Carey, M., D. E. Burhans and D. A. Nelson. 1994. Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla), 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: October 20, 2021, 01:04:56 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 #196 on: October 20, 2021, 12:56:41 AM »

Song Sparrow,
Melospiza melodia



A relative newcomer to Tennessee, the Song Sparrow started nesting in the far eastern corner of the state in the late 1800s.  Scattered populations started to appear in Middle and West Tennessee in the 1940s through the 1970s.  Currently, the Song Sparrow is a common nester only in the eastern third of Tennessee, but is found throughout the state in winter.

The species has a very wide distribution, breeding across most of North America south to northern Mexico. Song Sparrows are partially or completely migratory depending on snow cover and winter temperature; some individuals remain on or near their breeding grounds while others move farther south. The winter range extends from southern Canada to Mexico and Florida, and wintering birds arrive in Tennessee in October and depart in early April.

Description: Both male and female are brown with dark streaks above, and below are white with dark streaking that forms a dark central spot on the breast. The face pattern is brown and gray, the tail is relatively long and in flight it appears they pump it up and down.

Juveniles (April-September) are similar to adults, but have finer streaking on the face and breast. Geographically this species is very variable with larger, darker birds in the Northwest, and paler individuals in the Southwest.

Length: 6.25"
Wingspan: 8.25"
Weight: 0.7 oz

Voice: The song has three or four clear introductory notes, followed by a short variable trill, and ending in a short jumble of notes. One translation is maids maids maids put on your tea kettle ettle. The call is a nasal and hollow-sounding chimp. Songs can vary widely among individuals, but the pattern of notes is generally maintained.

Similar Species:

Fox Sparrows, uncommon migrant and winter residents in Tennessee, are larger, have heavier streaks on the breast, and are more red than brown overall.
Lincoln's Sparrow, an uncommon migrant and a rare winter resident in Tennessee, has a shorter, grayer tail, and a buff (not white) upper breast with finer streaking.
Savannah Sparrow, a fairly common migrant and winter resident in Tennessee, has a shorter, slightly notched tail, and a yellow tinge between its eyes and bill.
Vesper Sparrow has a white eye-ring and white outer tail feathers. It is an uncommon migrant, rare winter resident, and is a locally uncommon summer resident 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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #197 on: October 20, 2021, 12:57:59 AM »

Song Sparrow,, continued

Habitat: Found in a variety of open, shrubby areas, especially in thickets near streams and rivers, and in urban and suburban areas.

Diet: Seeds, fruits, invertebrates.

Nesting and reproduction: Song Sparrows are strongly territorial and the male defends his territory for more six months each year. In Tennessee, egg laying peaks in early May, and Song Sparrows regularly raise three and occasionally four broods.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 to 5 eggs. Clutches of 5 are more common early in the season.

Incubation: Females incubate the eggs for 12 to 13 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the nestlings, which leave the nest in 10 days and become independent in 28 to 30 days. The female will leave the young in the care of the male when she begins the next nest.

Nest: The female builds the nest in 3 to 4 days. It is an open cup made of dead grass and weed stems, and lined with fine grasses. Before plants have leafed out, nests are frequently built on the ground; later it is usually placed low in shrubs.

Status in Tennessee: The Song Sparrow is common throughout the state in the winter, but breeds primarily in the eastern third of Tennessee and in scattered locations in Middle Tennessee. Wintering birds usually arrive in October and stay through early April. Song Sparrow numbers appear to be increasing everywhere in the state.

Map of Song Sparrow eBird observations in Tennessee



« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 01:01:32 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 #198 on: October 20, 2021, 01:08:15 AM »

Field Sparrow,, continued

Fun Facts:

The Song Sparrow is one of the most widespread songbirds in North America and has 24 recognized subspecies. These subspecies can look very different; birds from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska are 150% heavier than the smallest subspecies in the California salt marshes. The darkest individuals are found in the Pacific Northwest and the palest in the deserts of the Southwest.
Obsolete English Names: Townsend's finch, song finch

Best places to see in Tennessee: In summer, open grassy and shrubby fields and fencerows in eastern Tennessee.

In middle Tennessee, they are scarce, but for some reason appear to be more abundant in the vicinity of Coffee County. Common statewide in winter.






]https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/Song%20Sparrow-006.jpg

Sources:

Arcese, P., M.K. Sogge, A.B. Marr and M.A. Patten. 2002. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia), The Birds of North America, No. 704 (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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #199 on: October 20, 2021, 01:12:00 AM »

Swamp Sparrow

Melospiza georgiana



The swamp in Swamp Sparrow pretty well describes this bird's preferred habitat. It breeds in swamps in boreal Canada and the northeastern United States.  You can find it in brushy habitats that are either wet or near water in the southeast during the winter.

It is a secretive bird that hides in dense cover and forages mostly on the ground. When flushed, it will fly low over the grass tops, rarely more than a few dozen yards, and perch on a low branch or dive back into the vegetation.

Swamp Sparrows can be found in Tennessee from late September to early in May, alone or in loose flocks with Song Sparrows.

Description: Swamps Sparrows have rusty wings, a gray chest with blurry streaks, a whitish throat and belly, and a gray face and neck.

During the breeding season they have a rusty cap, and during the non-breeding season (August-March) the cap has a gray central stripe.

Length: 5.75"
Wingspan: 7.25"
Weight: 0.6 oz

Similar Species:

White-throated Sparrows are much larger and plumper, and the white throat is more extensive, distinct, and bright. They almost always travel in flocks with other white-throats during the winter.
Lincoln's Sparrows are very similar, but have a distinct buffy beast-band with fine dark streaks.
Song Sparrows are white below with heavy streaking on the breast that forms a dark central spot and has a longer tail.
Habitat: Found in marshes and in low grassy or brushy fields, often near water.

Diet: Seeds, fruits, and aquatic invertebrates.

Nesting and reproduction: The Swamp Sparrow has never been known to nest in Tennessee.
Swamp Sparrow

« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 01:14:02 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 #200 on: October 20, 2021, 01:17:52 AM »

Swamp Sparrow continued


tatus in Tennessee: This common migrant and statewide winter resident is present in the state from late September to early May.

Map of Swamp Sparrow eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

Swamp Sparrows are known to stick their heads completely underwater to catch aquatic insects.
The legs of a Swamp Sparrow are longer than other members of its genus, allowing it to wade in the shallow water of its swampy habitat.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Swamp Sparrows can be found across Tennessee from late September through early May in marshes and low grassy or brushy fields, often near water.
'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 #201 on: October 20, 2021, 01:20:27 AM »

Swamp Sparrow continued









Sources:

Mowbray, T.B. 1997. Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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.
'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 #202 on: October 25, 2021, 02:28:00 AM »

White-throated Sparrow
Zonotrichia albicollis



The most abundant of Tennessee's wintering sparrows, the White-throated Sparrow arrives by early October and departs by mid-May.  It travels in flocks and can often be heard in winter singing its distinctive Oh Sweet Canada Canada Canada song.

Canada is where it breeds, from the Yukon to Newfoundland south to the northeastern United States. In the winter, it is found in the eastern half of the United States south to northern Mexico, with some birds wintering along the Pacific Coast.

Description: Adult White-throated Sparrows are brown above and gray below, with a white throat bordered in black, a black and white striped head and a yellow blotch between the eye and bill. The "tan-striped morph" and first-year birds (August-March) look similar, but with tan and brown striped heads and a duller throat. Males and females are similar in appearance.

Length: 6.75"
Wingspan: 9"
Weight: 0.91 oz

Voice: The song starts with 2 loud, clear, short whistled notes, followed by a series of triplet notes: Oh sweet Canada Canada Canada or Old Sam Peabody Peabody Peabody. The call is a distinctive lispy tseep.

Similar Species:

White-crowned Sparrows lack the distinct white throat and yellow above the eyes, and have an all-pinkish bill.
Habitat: In winter and in migration White-throated Sparrows are found in dense cover, along woodlots, in fencerows, swamps, weedy fields, parks, and in urban areas.

Diet: Seeds, fruits, and insects. White-throated Sparrows frequently visit bird feeders.

Nesting and reproduction: The White-throated Sparrow has never been known to nest 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

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #203 on: October 25, 2021, 02:30:07 AM »

White-throated Sparrow, continued
Status in Tennessee: This common statewide migrant and winter resident usually arrives by early October and departs by mid-May. While still abundant, White-throated Sparrows are apparently declining over much of the breeding range.

Map of White-throated Sparrow eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

White-throated Sparrows come in two color forms: white-striped and tan-striped. White-striped birds almost always mate with tan-striped birds, and visa versa. Interestingly, white-striped males tend to be more aggressive, and tan-striped females provide more parental care to the nestlings.
White-throated Sparrows and the Dark-eyed Juncos look nothing alike but are known to occasionally mate with one another. They produce hybrid offspring that look like grayish, dully marked White-throated Sparrows with white outer tail feathers.
Birds in cold climates have more feathers in the winter than in the summer. One study found that White-throated Sparrows have 40% more contour (body) feathers in winter; in summer, they have about 1,500 contour feathers and 2,500 in winter.
Obsolete English Names: White-throated Finch

Best places to see in Tennessee: White-throated Sparrows are found in Tennessee during the non-breeding season, arriving in early October and departing by mid-May. They can be found in every county of the state in a variety of shrubby habitats including weedy and brushy fields, brushy woodland thickets, along woodland edges, and in suburban areas with sufficient cover.
'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 #204 on: October 25, 2021, 02:33:03 AM »

White-throated Sparrow, continued





Sources:

Falls, J. B. and J. G. Kopachena. 1994. White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis), The Birds of North America, No. 128 (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.
'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 #205 on: November 05, 2021, 01:26:27 AM »

Dark-eyed Junco
Junco hyemalis


The Dark-eyed Junco, formerly known as the Slate-colored Junco and commonly called a snowbird, is found across Tennessee in the winter and breeds in the mountains of East Tennessee.   In fact at higher elevations, it can be the most conspicuous and abundant nesting bird.

Juncos are familiar to most Tennesseans because they are easily identified, relatively tame, forage in flocks on the ground, and visit bird feeders. Their summer range extends across Alaska and Canada, southward to southern California and northern Georgia. The winter range extends from southern Canada across the United States to northern Mexico.

Over most of Tennessee, Dark-eyed Juncos are present only from early October to mid-April.

Description: The Dark-eyed Junco is gray above and white below, with white outer tail-feathers, a dark eye, and a pink bill. Males and females are similar, but females average paler and browner. Juveniles (May-August) are similar to adults, but have fine streaking on the chest, head, and back.

Length: 6.25"
Wingspan: 9.25"
Weight: 0.67 oz

Voice: The song is an even musical trill lasting about 2 seconds. Calls include a short, hard tsip, and excited high-pitched twitters.

Similar Species:

No other sparrow is so plainly marked gray or gray-brown with white outer tail feathers.
Habitat: Dark-eyed Juncos breed in coniferous and mixed forests, and on grassy balds. They winter in fields, suburbs, edges of parks, around farms, and along rural roadsides and stream edges.

Diet: Seeds and insects.

Nesting and reproduction: In Tennessee, males begin returning to breeding territories in late March, and the start of egg laying is influenced by elevation and spring temperatures. Juncos will raise 2 to 3 broods during the breeding season.

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

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 13 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which leave the nest between 11 and 14 days after hatching.

Nest: The female usually builds the open cup-nest in a depression on the ground or a sloping bank, well hidden by vegetation. The nest is constructed of grasses, moss, and rootlets, and lined with finer material.
'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 #206 on: November 05, 2021, 01:28:42 AM »

Dark-eyed Junco, continued


Status in Tennessee: The Dark-eyed Junco is a common migrant and winter resident across the state arriving by early October and departing by mid-April. It is a common breeder and year round resident in the mountains of East Tennessee, especially above 4,000 feet.

Map of Dark-eyed Junco eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

Dark-eyed Juncos breed across virtually all of North America, and junco populations differ in plumage and bill color, migratory behavior, and body size across that range. Until the 1970s, these different looking populations were split into 5 distinct species: the Slate-colored, White-winged, Oregon, Gray-headed, and Guadalupe Junco. Not all taxonomists agree with the American Ornithologists' Union's new classification.
Dark-eyed Juncos breeding in the Appalachian Mountains have shorter wings than the migrants that join them each winter. Longer wings help the migrants fly long distances.
The oldest known Dark-eyed Junco in the wild was 11 years 4 months old.
Obsolete English Names: slate-colored junco, gray-headed junco, snowbird

'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 #207 on: November 05, 2021, 01:31:31 AM »

Dark-eyed Junco, continued

Best places to see in Tennessee: Dark-eyed Juncos can be found statewide during the winter. In East Tennessee, year round residents can be found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Carver's Gap on Roan Mountain, Cherokee National Forest, and other mountains, especially above 4,000 feet.







Sources:

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

Nolan, Jr., V., E. D. Ketterson, D. A. Cristol, C. M. Rogers, E. D. Clotfelter, R. C. Titus, S. J. Schoech and E. Snajdr. 2002. Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis), The Birds of North America, No. 716 (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
'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 #208 on: November 10, 2021, 11:06:06 PM »

Northern Cardinal
Cardinalis cardinalis





"Redbird" is a popular common name for the Northern Cardinal. This non-migratory bird is abundant in Tennessee and can be found in a variety of habitats from suburban neighborhoods and rural areas, to bottomland forests and mountainsides.   A cardinal will often spend its entire life within a mile of where it hatched.

The range of the Northern Cardinal extends throughout eastern and central North America from southern Canada into parts of Mexico and Central America. That range has expanded northward since the early 1800s, likely because of milder winter temperatures, increased nesting habitat, and the presence of bird feeders.

Description: The male and female look very different, but both have a prominent crest and a red cone-shaped bill.

The male is a brilliant crimson red with a black facemask; the female is mostly grayish-brown with reddish wings, crest, and tail. Her facemask is gray to black and is less defined than that of the male.

Juvenile birds (April-September) look like the adult female but are duller and have a black bill that gets more orange through the fall.

Length: 8.75"
Wingspan: 12"
Weight: 1.6 oz

Voice: The song is a series of clear repeated, usually 2-note phrases, purdy purdy purdy or whoit cheer whoit cheer. The call is similar to two coins hitting each other.

Similar Species:

This species cannot be easily confused with any other species found in Tennessee, although the only other all red songbird in the state is the Summer Tanager.
Habitat: Northern Cardinals can be found in a variety of habitats but require open patches of ground for feeding, trees for singing perches, and dense, low growth for nesting. Habitats include woodland with thick understory, forest edges, swamps, streamside thickets, hedgerows, and shrubbery around homes and parks.

Diet: Seeds, fruits, buds, and insects. Frequently visits bird feeders.

Nesting and reproduction: In late February and March, males and females start defending their territory with song, displays, and mild combat. Male cardinals can be so aggressive that they may defend their territory from their own reflection in a window or a mirror! Nest building usually begins in April and cardinals usually raise at least two broods in a year.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 eggs, with a range of 1 to 5 eggs.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 13 days.

Fledging: Both the male and female care for the nestlings, which leave the nest in 9 to 11 days.

Nest: The female chooses the nest site and builds the nest with occasional help from the male. The nest is an open bowl of weed stems and twigs, and lined with grass. It often contains paper or plastic in the outer layer. The nest is placed in a thick tangle of vines or twigs in a shrub or small tree, and the average nest height in Tennessee is 5 feet, with a range from 1 foot 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 #209 on: November 10, 2021, 11:08:29 PM »

Northern Cardinal. continued

Status in Tennessee: The Northern Cardinal is an abundant permanent statewide resident. The population is currently stable or slightly declining.

Map of Northern Cardinal eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

Unlike most northern songbirds, both males and females sing. When the female sings from the nest it appears that she is providing the male with information about whether to bring food to the nest. A mated pair shares song phrases, but the female may sing a longer and slightly more complex song than the male.
The population density and range of the Northern Cardinal has increased over the last 200 years, largely in response to habitat changes made by people.
The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other male cardinals. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces (i.e. windows and mirrors), it frequently will spend many hours daily trying to fight the imaginary intruder. This may go on for the entire breeding season. One remedy is to tape paper on the outside of the offending window until he looses interest.
Not all male cardinals look the same. Brighter red males hold territories that have denser vegetation, feed young at higher rates, and have greater reproductive success than duller males.
The oldest known wild Northern Cardinal was 15 years 9 months old.
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

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