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Author Topic: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE 2021 to 2024  (Read 68208 times)

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2021, 02:21:32 AM »

Rock Pigeon,
Columba livia



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Similar Species:

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

Diet: Seeds, fruits, rarely invertebrates.

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

Clutch Size: Usually 2 eggs, occasionally one.

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

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

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

Status in Tennessee: Common permanent resident in urban and agricultural areas across the state. The Tennessee population is stable or possibly increasing. Most Rock Pigeons depend on humans for food and nest sites resulting in little competition with native birds. They are not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2021, 02:25:19 AM »

Rock Pigeon, continued

Dynamic map of Rock Pigeon eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

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

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





Sources:

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

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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2021, 05:36:54 PM »

Eurasian Collared-Dove,
Streptopelia decaocto



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

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

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

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

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

Similar Species:

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

Diet: Seeds and cereal grain, some insects.

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

Clutch Size: 2 eggs

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

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

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

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

Eurasian Collared-Doves are usually found in small groups, but on occasion, in large concentrations where food is abundant. In 2007, 3,000 were observed from one location in Memphis, but numbers over a dozen are uncommon. The 2007-2008 the Tennessee Christmas Bird Count reported 526 individuals on 12 counts statewide. In August 2008, 169 were seen flying from a roost in Smyrna, Rutherford Co.
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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2021, 05:39:50 PM »

Eurasian Collared-Dove, continued

Dynamic map of Eurasian Collared-Dove eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

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





Sources:

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

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

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

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
"Every new day begins with possibilities."
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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2021, 05:41:38 PM »

Mourning Dove
Zenaida macroura



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

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

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

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

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

Similar Species:

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

Diet: Primarily seeds.

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

Clutch Size: 2 eggs.

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

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

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

Status in Tennessee: The Mourning Dove is a familiar, abundant, resident across the state. Birds migrating here from more northerly latitudes augment the winter population. The Mourning Dove is the most popular game species in Tennessee. From 1981 to 1990, an average of 141,000 hunters harvested an average of almost 3 million doves per year in the state. The population in Tennessee is generally stable.
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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2021, 05:45:07 PM »

Mourning Dove, continued

Dynamic map of Mourning Dove eBird observations in Tennessee

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

Fun Facts:

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

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






Sources:

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

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

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

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2021, 05:47:51 PM »

Yellow-billed Cuckoo,
Coccyzus americanus



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Similar Species:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Status in Tennessee: Fairly common migrant and summer resident of woodlands across the state, arriving in late April or May and departing by mid-October. Numbers are apparently influenced by insect abundance.
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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2021, 05:52:30 PM »

Yellow-billed Cuckoo, continued

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

Fun Facts:

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

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





Sources:

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

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

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. A. A. Knopf, New York, NY.
"Every new day begins with possibilities."
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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2021, 02:09:50 AM »

Eastern Screech-Owl
Megascops asio



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

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

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

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

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

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

Similar Species:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Status in Tennessee: The Eastern Screech-Owl is the most numerous owl in the state. It is found at lower elevations and considered fairly common throughout
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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2021, 02:16:06 AM »

Eastern Screech-Owl, continued
Fun Facts:

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

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

For more information:

Tennessee's Woodworking for Wildlife page with nest box instructions



Dynamic map of Eastern Screech-Owl eBird observations in Tennessee





Sources:

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

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

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

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"Every new day begins with possibilities."
President Ronald Reagan  at  the 1985 Geneva Summit

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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2021, 09:36:39 AM »

Great Horned Owl
Bubo virginianus



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

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

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

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

Length: 22" (height)

Wingspan: 44"

Weight: 3.1 lbs.

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

Similar Species:

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

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

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

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

Clutch Size: 2 eggs, rarely up to 5.

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

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

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

Status in Tennessee: Fairly common permanent resident nesting throughout the state. Found in areas of mixed woodland and open habitat including upland and bottomland forest, agricultural areas, and urban woodlands.
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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #41 on: August 16, 2021, 09:40:33 AM »

Great Horned Owlcontinued



Fun Facts:

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

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









Sources:

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

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

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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2021, 11:28:57 AM »

Barred Owl
Strix varia


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

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

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

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

Length: 17.5" (height)

Wingspan: 40"

Weight: 1.3 lbs.

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

Similar Species:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2021, 11:30:14 AM »

Barred Owl, continued


Fun Facts:

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

For more information:

The Owl Pages

Barred Owl Range Map

Sources:
Mazur, K. M., and P. C. James. 2000. Barred Owl (Strix varia). The Birds of North America, No. 508 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

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

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

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Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #44 on: August 21, 2021, 11:32:42 AM »

Common Nighthawk,
Chordeiles minor



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Length: 9.5
Wingspan: 24"
Weight: 2.2 oz

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

Similar Species:

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

Diet: Flying insects

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

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

Clutch Size: Usually 2 eggs, occasionally one.

Incubation: The female incubates for 19 days.

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

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

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

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

Populations have declined in recent years.
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