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Author Topic: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE  (Read 11211 times)

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #210 on: November 10, 2021, 11:10:43 PM »

Northern Cardinal. continued

Obsolete English Names: redbird, common cardinal, eastern cardinal, cardinal grosbeak, cardinal redbird

Best places to see in Tennessee: The Northern Cardinal is an abundant year round resident across the state.





Sources:

Halkin, S.L. and S.U. Linville. 1999. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), The Birds of North America, No. 440 (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.
'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 #211 on: November 15, 2021, 08:28:11 AM »

Rose-breasted Grosbeak,
Pheucticus ludovicianus



The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a striking bird with a bold black and white plumage, punctuated by a deep rose triangle in the middle of the white breast.  The female's plumage is completely different and resembles a large brown streaky sparrow.

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak spends much of its time in the treetops and its song and distinctive metallic, chink, call-note, makes it easier to find. Unlike many songbirds, both the male and female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are known to sing.

This species is completely migratory traveling between the breeding range over most of Canada and the eastern United States, to its wintering grounds stretching from southern Mexico to northern South America.

In Tennessee, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak nests only at higher elevations in the mountains in East Tennessee, but is a common spring and fall migrants statewide.

Description: The breeding male has a bright rosy red triangle in the middle of a white breast. The head and back are black, the rump is white, and the wings and tail are black with white patches that are especially obvious in flight.

The female resembles a large sparrow. She has a brown streaked back, a streaked white breast, two white wing-bars, and a boldly patterned face with a white stripe over the eye.

The under-wing is rose-colored in the male and yellow in the female, and both have a heavy pinkish-white to slate gray conical bill. First-year birds (August-March) resemble the female.

Length: 8"
Wingspan: 12.5"
Weight: 1.6 oz

Voice: The song is a melodious series, of robin-like phrases, sometimes described as sounding like an American Robin with singing lessons. The call-note is a sharp, metallic chink, similar to a sneaker squeaking on a basketball court.

Similar Species:

The female Purple Finch resembles the female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, but is smaller with a relatively smaller head, a distinct moustache-stripe, a dark bill, and no white in the wings.
Habitat: Breeds in deciduous and mixed woodlands, especially at the edges, second-growth woodlands, orchards, suburban parks and gardens. Winters in a variety of open tropical forests.

Diet: Insects, seeds, fruits, and buds.

Nesting and reproduction: Rose-breasted Grosbeaks start nesting soon after they arrive in spring. Unlike most songbirds, both the male and female sing, including while they are incubating on the nest.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 eggs, with a range of 1 to 5 eggs.

Incubation: The male and female incubate the eggs for 13 to 14 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge in 9 to 12 days after hatching. They remain dependent on the adults for another 3 weeks.

Nest: The female, and sometimes the male, builds the cup-shaped nest using twigs, rootlets and weed stems, and lines it with finer materials. It is usually placed in a variety of shrubs and small trees, but occasionally high on the branch of a deciduous tree. Nest heights range from 4 feet to 40 feet, with an average 13 feet above the ground.
'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 #212 on: November 15, 2021, 08:32:14 AM »

Rose-breasted Grosbeak,, continued

Status in Tennessee: The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is an uncommon to fairly common summer resident of the East Tennessee mountains. In the rest of the state, it is a fairly common migrant found from mid-April through mid-May, and again from mid-September through mid-October.

Fun Facts:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak nests are so thinly constructed that it is often possible to see the eggs through the nest from below.
The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak incubates the eggs during the day, accounting for about 1/3 of the time, while the female incubates over night. Both sexes sing quietly to each other when they change places. The male will sometimes sing his normal song when incubating on the nest.
Obsolete English Names: purple-headed grosbeak

Best places to see in Tennessee: Frozen Head State Natural Area above 3,000 feet, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Unaka and Roan Mountain.









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.

'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 #213 on: December 05, 2021, 02:18:23 AM »

Blue Grosbeak,
 Passerina caerulea



Blue Grosbeaks are somewhat secretive but can be found across Tennessee during the summer months. They arrive by the end of April and depart by the end of September, and occur in brushy fields, and hedgerows adjoining grasslands and croplands.

Interestingly, they only started nesting in Tennessee in 1945, and had spread across the state by the mid-1960s. The reasons for this dramatic range expansion are unknown.

Blue Grosbeaks are migratory birds and range across most of the southern half of the United States into Mexico and Central America. The winter range includes southern Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Description: The male and female are very different in appearance, but share the large cone-shaped bill. The male is deep blue with two large rusty-brown wing-bars; the female is mostly brown with two buffy-brown wing-bars.

Juveniles (August-March) resemble the female; males in their first summer (March-September) have a plumage that is intermediate between that of the adult female and adult male, with variable amounts of blue mixed with brown.

Length: 6.75"
Wingspan: 11"
Weight: 0.98 oz

Voice: The song is a series of variable rich warbled notes and phrases, typically quiet in tone. The call is a soft metallic chink.

Similar Species:

The Indigo Bunting male and female are similar to the male and female Blue Grosbeak, but are much smaller, have smaller bills, and no wing-bars.
Eastern Bluebirds have a reddish chest, a white belly, and a thin bill.
Female and juvenile Brown-headed Cowbirds lack wing-bars and may be streaked on the breast.
Habitat: Blue Grosbeaks can be found in early successional habitats such as brushy pastures and abandoned fields with numerous shrubs and saplings, also hedgerows adjoining hayfields and fields of small grains, and recent clearcuts.

Diet: Insects, other invertebrates, and seeds.

Nesting and reproduction: Nest building begins in late May. Blue Grosbeaks commonly produce two broods per year.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 or 4 eggs, with a range of 2 to 5 eggs.

Incubation: Incubation is done only by the female, and lasts for 11 to 12 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which leave the nest in 9 to 13 days.

Nest: The nest is a compact cup made of twigs, bark, rootlets, and lined with finer material. The outer shell usually contains pieces of snake skin, paper or plastic. It is usually well concealed in shrubs or vine tangles along forest edge or roadsides. Tennessee nest heights range from just over one foot to 9 feet, with an average of about 3 feet above the ground.
'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 #214 on: December 05, 2021, 02:18:35 AM »

Blue Grosbeak,, continued

Status in Tennessee: The Blue Grosbeak is a fairly common summer resident across Tennessee, arriving by the end of April and departing by late September. The population in Tennessee is still increasing at a significant rate.

Map of Blue Grosbeak eBird observations in Tennessee



Fun Facts:

The first record of a Blue Grosbeak in Tennessee was in Memphis in 1929. Few observations followed until a small breeding population was discovered in 1945 in McNairy County. The first Blue Grosbeak in Knox County was found in 1948, in the Nashville area in 1950, and near Chattanooga in 1953. By the mid-1960s Blue Grosbeaks were established throughout the state. The reason for this sudden increase is unknown as apparently suitable habitat had long been available.
Most Blue Grosbeaks nesting in the eastern United States probably migrate across the Caribbean, as individuals are regularly sighted on Caribbean islands during spring and fall migration.

Best places to see in Tennessee: Blue Grosbeaks can be found across the state except at the highest elevations, from the end of April to late September. They occupy early successional habitats such as brushy pastures, abandoned fields with numerous shrubs and saplings, hedgerows adjoining hayfields and fields of small grains, and recent clearcuts.











Sources:
Ingold, J. L. 1993. Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), The Birds of North America, No. 79 (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.

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 #215 on: December 17, 2021, 05:40:21 AM »

Indigo Bunting
Passerina cyanea


If you see a remarkably all-blue bird along the roadside during the summer in Tennessee, it is more than likely an Indigo Bunting.

Unlike the Eastern Bluebird with its rusty and white belly, the male Indigo Bunting is entirely blue, startlingly so when seen in good light. This is one of the most abundant and widely distributed birds nesting in the state, and is found in shrubby areas and weedy fields at all elevations.  The male is a constant singer well into the summer, and his double-phrased song is fairly distinctive.

Indigo Buntings are completely migratory traveling over 1,000 miles each way between their summer range in eastern North America and their winter range in very southern Florida, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. They arrive in Tennessee in mid-April and depart by mid-October.

Description: The Indigo Bunting is a rather slim bird with a short, thick bill. During the breeding season adult males are a solid deep blue; during the non-breeding season (September-April), males are brown with a variable amount of blue scattered throughout. The female is a dull brown year round, with a whitish throat, faint buff wing-bars, and often fine, faint streaks on the breast.

Length: 5.5"
Wingspan: 8"
Weight: 0.51 oz

Voice: The song is a series of warbling phrases that are usually repeated. Call notes include a sharp spik, and a buzzy note often given in flight.

Similar Species:

The Blue Grosbeak male and female are similar to the male and female Indigo Bunting. The grosbeak, however, is larger, has a much thicker bill, and obvious rusty wing-bars.
Eastern Bluebirds have a reddish chest and white belly.
Habitat: Indigo Buntings breed in a variety of brushy and weedy habitats along edges of cultivated land, woods, roads, powerline rights-of-way, and in openings in coniferous and deciduous forests. They winter in weedy fields, citrus orchards, and weedy cropland.

Diet: Small insects, spiders, seeds, buds, and berries.

Nesting and reproduction: Males will occasionally mate with two females in his territory. Indigo Buntings commonly produce two or more broods per year.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 4 eggs, with a range of 2 to 5 eggs.

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

Fledging: Most of the feeding is done by the female, and the young leave the nest in about 10 days.

Nest: The female chooses the nest site and builds the nest. It is a well-made open cup of dead leaves, coarse grasses, stems, and strips of bark, held in place with spider web, and lined with fine grasses or deer hair. It is placed in a shrub or an herbaceous plant close to ground. The average nest height in Tennessee is 3 feet above the ground.
'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 #216 on: December 17, 2021, 05:43:49 AM »

Indigo Bunting, continued
Status in Tennessee: The Indigo Bunting is a summer resident, and one of the most abundant breeding birds in the state. It arrives in mid-April and departs by mid-October. While still very common, they are declining in the state.

Map of Indigo Bunting eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

Indigo Buntings are nocturnal migrants and use the stars, setting sun location, and other landmarks to navigate. They learn to orient by the night sky as a young bird observing the stars.
Indigo Buntings breed across eastern North America. Banding studies have shown that birds nesting in the western part of the breeding range migrate to the western part of the wintering range, and birds from the eastern part of the breeding range, winter in the eastern wintering range.
Obsolete English Names: indigo painted finch, blue finch, indigo bird

Best places to see in Tennessee: The Indigo Bunting can be found statewide from mid-April to mid-October in a variety of dense brushy habitats including brushy fields, fencerows, forest edges and natural openings in both coniferous and deciduous forests.
'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 #217 on: December 17, 2021, 05:46:02 AM »

Indigo Bunting, continued







Sources:

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

Payne, R. B. 2006. Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), The Birds of North America, No. 4 (A. Poole, Peter Stettenheim, and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, DC; The American Ornithologists' Union.

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 #218 on: January 03, 2022, 05:55:06 PM »

Red-winged Blackbird
Agelaius phoeniceus


The kon-ke-ree song of the male Red-winged Blackbird is a sure indication that spring is on the way.  This bird is familiar to most Tennesseans because it is very common, found in the state year round, and the males are easy to identify and often sing from prominent perches.

The females, on the other hand, might be mistaken for a large sparrow by novice birdwatchers. Red-winged Blackbirds nest in shrubby swamps, grasslands, and in the cattails around farm ponds. In the winter, they gather with other blackbird species in enormous roosts that can number in the hundreds of thousands, even millions, of birds.

Their breeding range covers most of Canada and the United States and extends south to southern Mexico. Most Canadian nesters spend the winter in the lower 48 states.

Description: The male and female look very different, but both have sharply pointed bills and rounded wings in flight. The male is completely black with a red shoulder patch edged in yellow; the female is brown and heavily streaked with a lighter stripe over the eye.

Length: 8.75"
Wingspan: 13"
Weight: 1.8 oz

Voice: The song has several liquid introductory notes, followed by a gurgling, harsh kon-ke-ree, ending with a trill. Calls include a dry kek, and a clear descending zeer given by the male.

Similar Species:

Female Red-winged Blackbirds resemble sparrows but are much larger, and have a bill that is longer and more pointed than a sparrow's bill.
Habitat: Marshes and grassy fields, often near water.

Diet: Insects, seeds, and grain.

Nesting and reproduction: Male Red-winged Blackbirds are polygynous, and may have several female mates in their territory. Males start defending territories in March and peak egg-laying is in late April. Females usually raise one brood per season.

Clutch Size: The range is from 2 to 5 eggs, with 3 or 4 most common.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 10 to 12 days.

Fledging: The female does most of the feeding with some help from the male. Chicks fledge in 10 to 14 days and are independent in 2 to 3 weeks.

Nest: Females choose the nest site and construct the nest in 3 to 6 days. It is a fairly large open cup woven of grass or marsh vegetation and wet leaves, and lined with fine grass. Early nests are often placed in clumps of cattails, later nests in shrubs, and small trees. The average nest height in Tennessee is 3 feet above the ground.
'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 #219 on: January 03, 2022, 06:00:27 PM »

Red-winged Blackbird continued

Status in Tennessee: The Red-winged Blackbird is a common to abundant permanent resident at all but the highest elevations across the state. In winter, birds nesting to the north of Tennessee join the local population and form large roosts numbering in the thousands, especially in West and Middle Tennessee. Red-winged Blackbirds are declining rangewide and in Tennessee as well.
Fun Facts:

In the wild, Red-winged Blackbirds live 2 years, on average.
In some populations, 90% of territorial males have more than one female mate; the record is 15 females nesting in the territory of one male. However, studies have found that a quarter to a half of the nestlings will be fathered by other than the territorial male.
In winter, Red-winged Blackbirds can form huge roosts of several million birds, which congregate in the evening and spread out each morning. Some may travel as far as 50 miles between the roosting and feeding sites. They commonly share their winter roosts with other blackbird species and European Starlings.
Across the broad breeding range, Red-winged Blackbirds vary substantially in size. In an experiment where young were switched from different-sized populations, the young grew up to resemble their foster parents, not their natural parents. This indicates that environmental factors, not genetics, are responsible for much of the variation in size between populations.
Obsolete English Names: bicolored, red and buff shouldered, red-shouldered, blackbird, redwing, crimson-winged troopial, red-and-black-shouldered marsh blackbird, red-winged starling, red-shouldered marsh blackbird







'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 #220 on: January 03, 2022, 06:02:41 PM »

Red-winged Blackbird continued


Best places to see in Tennessee: Red-winged Blackbirds are common to abundant statewide. They are the most abundant species nesting at Reelfoot Lake, and are one of the most common birds in agricultural landscapes.





[/img]https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/images/birds/red-winged-blackbird-007.jpg

Sources:

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.

Yasukawa, K. and W. A. Searcy. 1995. Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), The Birds of North America, No.184 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, 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