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Author Topic: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE  (Read 15319 times)

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #90 on: August 26, 2021, 03:59:37 PM »

Pileated Woodpecker,
Dryocopus pileatus



The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America (with the exception of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker).

Its loud ringing calls and distinctive plumage make it a familiar bird in rural Tennessee.

The Pileated Woodpecker is non-migratory and can be found in deciduous and coniferous forests across the eastern half of the United States, central Canada, and south to California.

Description: This crow-sized bird has a black body, a red crest on its head, and a broad white stripe on the face extending from the base of the bill down the neck.

In flight, the top of the wing shows a patch of white at the base of the primaries, the underwing linings are white, and the trailing edge of the wing is black.

The bill is thick and silvery gray. The sexes are similar; however, the male has a red crown and forehead and red in the black mustache stripe.

The female has a gray to the yellow-brown forehead and no red in the mustache stripe.

Length: 16.5"
Wingspan: 29"
Weight: 10 oz

Voice: The call is a boisterous outburst of notes changing in pitch, loudness, and rhythm.

Similar Species:

Northern Flicker calls resemble those of the Pileated, but are more monotonous and do not change pitch, volume, or rhythm.
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is generally similar in appearance but is larger and has a pale white bill. At rest, the large white patches on the wing are very obvious, while the wings of a perched Pileated Woodpecker are black. In flight, the trailing edge of the wing of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker is white and black in the Pileated Woodpecker. Ivory-billed Woodpeckers have NEVER been adequately documented in Tennessee. (See links below for more information about distinguishing these two species.)
Habitat: Found in largely forested regions of deciduous or coniferous forests with large trees.

Diet: Insects, primarily carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae, fruits, and nuts.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #91 on: August 26, 2021, 04:01:29 PM »

Pileated Woodpecker,, continued

Nesting and reproduction: Long-term monogamous pairs stay together on territories year round. Egg laying in Tennessee occurs from early April to early May.

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

Incubation: Both sexes typically incubate the eggs for about 15 to 18 days.

Fledging: Both adults regurgitate food for the young, which leave the nest after 24 to 28 days, but may stay with the parents for another 2 to 3 months.

Nest: The same nest tree may be used for several consecutive years, but a new nest cavity is excavated every year.

Both adults dig the nest usually in the main trunk of a tall dead tree, and excavation can take up to 6 weeks to complete.

In Tennessee nest heights range from 18 to 85 feet with an average of 35 feet above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: Fairly common permanent resident throughout the state. Populations appear to be stable or increasing.

Dynamic map of Pileated Woodpecker eBird observations in Tennessee

Fun Facts:

Pileated Woodpeckers play an important role within their ecosystems by excavating cavities that are subsequently used by many other species including birds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.
The oldest known Piliated Woodpecker in the wild was 12 years 11 months old.
Obsolete English Names: log-cock, black woodcock

Best places to see in Tennessee: Found in woodlands across the state.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #92 on: August 26, 2021, 04:04:05 PM »

Pileated Woodpecker, continued









Sources:

Bull, E. L., and J. A. Jackson. 1995. Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). In The Birds of North America, No. 148 (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.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #93 on: August 26, 2021, 04:08:02 PM »

American Kestrel
 Falco sparverius


Formerly known as the Sparrow Hawk, the American Kestrel is the smallest, most colorful, and most widespread North American falcon. It breeds from Alaska and Canada to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

It is seen more often than other hawks because in addition to inhabiting wild areas, they frequent towns and agricultural lands, hunting from exposed perches like utility lines along roadsides. The American Kestrel spends the non-breeding season in the southern portion of the breeding range from the Canadian border southward.

Description: This small falcon has long pointed wings and a long tail. The male American Kestrel is very colorful and one of the most beautiful hawks in North America. The head is brightly patterned with two dark mustache marks on the face and "eye spots" on back of the head. The back and tail are rust colored, and the blue-gray wings and pale chest have black spots. The female is bright brown with black barring on the back and tail. She also has a boldly patterned head but not as colorful as the male's. The female is 10% heavier than the male. Juvenile birds look similar to adults.

Length: 9"
Wingspan: 22"
Weight: 4.1 oz.

Similar Species:

Merlins are slightly larger, lack rust color on the back, wings, and tail, and lack a well-defined head pattern. They also have a much more powerful and direct flight pattern than American Kestrels. Merlins are an uncommon migrant and rare winter resident in Tennessee.
Habitat: Open areas such as croplands, pastures, and along roadsides. Often found near areas of human activity.

Diet: American Kestrels eat large insects, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. They will sometimes hover several feet above the ground while hunting.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #94 on: August 26, 2021, 04:10:12 PM »

American Kestrel, continued

Nesting and reproduction: American Kestrels nest in cavities, but they do not excavate their own holes. The availability of cavities may limit the population.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 to 5 eggs, with a range of 1 to 7 eggs.

Incubation: Both males and females incubate the eggs for 29 to 31 days.

Fledging: Young begin hunting shortly after leaving the nest at 30 to 31 days, with the parents continuing to feed them for another 2 weeks.

Nest: American Kestrels nest in cavities in trees, buildings, and in nest boxes. No material is added to the nest hole. Nest Box Instructions here.

Status in Tennessee: The American Kestrel is a relatively common statewide resident. More northerly nesting birds join Tennessee's resident population from October through April. Populations are generally decreasing rangewide and likely so in Tennessee.

Dynamic map of American Kestrel eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

"Hover-hunting," often seen along roadsides, is used most often when there are no suitable perches available.
The females arrive first on the wintering grounds and establish their territories in the preferred open areas. The males, arriving later are forced to use areas with more trees.
Nestlings squirt their feces onto the walls of the nest cavity. The feces dry on the cavity walls and stay off the nestlings.
The oldest known American Kestrel in the wild was 14 years, 8 months old.
Obsolete English Names: sparrow hawk, Dixie kestrel

Best places to see in Tennessee: Open lands statewide where they perch on roadside telephone poles and power lines.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #95 on: August 26, 2021, 04:14:19 PM »

American Kestrel, continued









Sources:

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

Smallwood, John A. and David M. Bird. 2002. American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online:
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #96 on: August 30, 2021, 01:48:16 AM »

Eastern Wood-Pewee
Contopus virens


The Eastern Wood-Pewee is one of those birds that has the good manners to say its name.  The plaintive ascending and then descending pee-ah-wee phrase can be heard throughout the day during the summer in the eastern United States

The bird itself is quite inconspicuous as it hawks insects from high in the canopy.   The Eastern Wood-Pewee breeds from southeastern Canada across the eastern states and migrates to northwestern South America during the winter.

Description: This medium-sized olive-gray flycatcher is pale below with a darker wash on the breast and sides.   It has dull whitish wingbars and a dark bill with a yellow base on the lower mandible.

This flycatcher has a very upright posture and will often repeatedly return to the same prominent perch when fly-catching.

Males and females are alike in plumage.

Length: 6.25"

Wingspan: 10"

Weight: 0.49 oz

Voice: This flycatcher says its name with an ascending and then descending pee-ah-wee.

Similar Species:

Eastern Phoebes characteristically wag their tails, have an all-dark bill, and only indistinct wing bars or they lack them entirely.
The Eastern Wood-Pewee is distinguished from all Empidonax flycatchers by their dark face with weak partial eye-ring, dusky vest, and grayish smudges on their under tail coverts.
Olive-sided Flycatchers, present in Tennessee as migrants, have more indistinct wingbars, and larger and darker patches on the side of the breast that contrast strongly with a white center. They occasionally show white tufts on the sides of the rump.
Habitat: Found in deciduous or coniferous woodlands and woodland edges, but also urban shade trees, roadsides, woodlots, and orchards to mature forest.

Diet: Flying insects.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #97 on: August 30, 2021, 01:51:15 AM »

Eastern Wood-Pewee, continued

Nesting and reproduction: The Eastern Wood-Pewee does not begin nest construction until mid-May.

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

Incubation: The female incubates for 12 to 13 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge at 15 to 18 days.

Nest: The female builds the shallow cup-nest on a horizontal branch away from the trunk. Nest heights in Tennessee range from 6 to 45 feet, with an average of 20 feet above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: This is likely the most common flycatcher in Tennessee. It can be found during the breeding season statewide, arriving in late April and departing by early October.  The population is possibly stable in Tennessee, but it is decreasing range-wide.





Fun Facts:

In a forest where several flycatcher species are found, the Eastern Wood-Pewee forages higher in the trees than the Least and Acadian Flycatchers, but lower down than the Great Crested Flycatcher.
One potential cause of the decline of Eastern Wood-Pewee populations is the overpopulation of white-tailed deer in the Eastern forests. In areas with high deer density, the intermediate canopy is disturbed by browsing, affecting the foraging space of the flycatcher.
The oldest known Eastern Wood-Pewee in the wild was 7 years, 1 month old.
Best places to see in Tennessee: This species is found in woodlands in every county in the state.







Sources:

McCarty, J. P. 1996. Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens). In The Birds of North America, No. 245 (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: August 30, 2021, 01:56:07 AM by Phyl »
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #98 on: August 30, 2021, 01:58:58 AM »

Eastern Phoebe
Sayornis phoebe



his is likely the most familiar flycatcher in Tennessee due to its habit of nesting on buildings and bridges. The Eastern Phoebe characteristically pumps its tail up and down and the fee-bee call will remind you of its name.

It breeds from western Canada eastward to the Atlantic Coast, and southward to central Texas and central Georgia.  The winter range extends from Maryland to eastern Mexico, and along the Gulf Coast to Florida.   The Eastern Phoebe is present in Tennessee year round but is less numerous in the winter as some individuals migrate further south.

Description: This small songbird sits upright and often pumps its tail, especially after landing. It is dark grayish brown above, and has whitish underparts that may be washed with yellow. The Eastern Phoebe has no eyering or conspicuous wingbars. males and females look alike.

Length: 7"
Wingspan: 10.5"
Weight: 0.7 oz

Voice: The song is a slightly burry two-noted fee-bee. The call note is a flat toneless chip.

Similar Species:

Eastern Wood-Pewees don't wag their tails, and they have distinct wingbars.
Empidonax flycatchers have distinct wingbars, usually have a distinct eyering, and also don't wag their tails.
Habitat: Found in woodlands and along forest edges with rock cliffs. Also rural and agricultural areas where it nests on houses, barns and under bridges.

Diet: Flying insects, occasional small fruits.

Nesting and reproduction: Eastern Phoebes are typically double brooded, keeping the same mate for both broods. Egg laying typically extends from late March to late June.

Clutch Size: 5 eggs, with a range of 2 to 6.

Incubation: Females incubate the eggs for 16 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which leave the nest in 16 to 18 days.

Nest: The female builds a mud and moss nest either on a horizontal surface or attached to a vertical surface of natural or human-made structures. Natural nest sites include under overhanging rock ledges or inside the mouth of caves.

Status in Tennessee: Common breeder across the state generally increasing from west to east. They are present throughout the year, though many migrate further south in winter. Their numbers are stable or possibly increasing in the state.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #99 on: August 30, 2021, 02:01:29 AM »

Eastern Phoebe, continued

Dynamic map of Eastern Phoebe eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

In 1804 the Eastern Phoebe became the first banded bird in North America. John James Audubon attached a silvered thread to an Eastern Phoebe's leg to track its return in successive years.
The use of buildings and bridges for nest sites has allowed the Eastern Phoebe to expand its range. However, it still uses natural nest sites when they are available.
The oldest known Eastern Phoebe in the wild was 10 years, 11 months old.
Best places to see in Tennessee: They are found year round near suitable nesting sites in every county in the state.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #100 on: August 30, 2021, 02:03:43 AM »

Eastern Phoebe, continued






Sources:

Weeks, H. P., Jr. 1994. Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe). In The Birds of North America, No. 94 (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.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #101 on: August 30, 2021, 02:05:43 AM »

Great Crested Flycatcher
Myiarchus crinitus


You are more likely to hear the loud wee-eep of this flycatcher than see it. While the Great Crested Flycatcher is brightly colored for a flycatcher with its yellow belly and rusty wings and tail, it spends most of its time high in the trees hawking insects.

Unlike any other eastern flycatcher, the Great Crested Flycatcher nests in cavities.  It is a summer resident throughout the southern Canadian provinces and all the states east of the Great Plains.  Some Great Crested Flycatchers spend the winter in southern Florida and Cuba, but most travel to southern Mexico, Central America, and northwestern South America.

The Great Crested Flycatcher is present in Tennessee only during the breeding season arriving in early May and departing by late September.

Description: This large noisy flycatcher has a bright yellow belly, an olive brown back, cinnamon-rust on the wings and tail, and wingbars. When excited, it shows a short fluffy crest. The sexes are alike in plumage with males slightly larger.

Length: 8.75"
Wingspan: 13"
Weight: 1.2 oz

Voice: The song is a bold, loud, clear, up-slurred wee-eep.

Similar Species:

No other Tennessee flycatcher has the combination of a yellow belly and cinnamon-rust wings and tail.
Habitat: They breed in open deciduous woodlands, old orchards, riparian corridors, wooded swamps, parks, cemeteries, and urban areas with large shade trees and cavities suitable for nest sites.

Diet: Insects, other invertebrates, some small fruits.

Nesting and reproduction: Both the male and female vigorously defend the nest site.

Clutch Size: Usually 4 or 5 eggs, with a range of 4 to 8.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 13 to 15 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which leave the nest after 13 to 15 days. They remain with the adults for up to 3 more weeks.

Nest: Great Crested Flycatchers prefer natural cavities in trees, but where these are unavailable they will use abandoned woodpecker holes and a variety of human-made structures such as Purple Martin houses and Eastern Bluebird boxes. The female will line the cavity with leaves, grass, hair, and often a snakeskin.

Status in Tennessee: The Great Crested Flycatcher is a fairly common summer resident at low elevations across Tennessee, arriving in mid-April and departing by mid-September. Their numbers appear to be stable.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #102 on: August 30, 2021, 02:08:27 AM »

Great Crested Flycatcher, continued


Dynamic map of Great Crested Flycatcher eBird observations in Tennessee

[/img]

Fun Facts:

Great Crested Flycatcher nests may contain a shed snakeskin or other similar material, such as plastic, cellophane, or an onion skin.
The characteristic loud wee-eep call of the Great Crested Flycatcher can be heard on both wintering and breeding grounds.
The oldest known Great Crested Flycatcher in the wild was 14 years, 11 months old.
Obsolete English Names: northern crested flycatcher, southern crested flycatcher

Best places to see in Tennessee: Great Crested Flycatchers are found in appropriate habitat in every county of the state.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #103 on: August 30, 2021, 02:11:30 AM »

Great Crested Flycatcher, continued







Sources:
Lanyon, W. E. 1997. Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus). The Birds of North America, No. 300 (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.

#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #104 on: August 30, 2021, 07:08:47 PM »

Eastern Kingbird,
Tyrannus tyrannus



The Eastern Kingbird is a medium-sized dark gray and white flycatcher that, despite its common name, breeds abundantly west of the Mississippi River as well as throughout eastern North America. It forages from high perches, such as the top of live or dead trees, fence posts, or utility wires, often returning to the same perch after flying to catch an insect.

It is a long-distance migrant wintering from northwestern South America throughout the Amazon basin. While the Eastern Kingbird aggressively defends its nest and mate during the breeding season, it usually travels in flocks in the winter. The Eastern Kingbird is usually present in Tennessee from early April to late August.

Description: Identified by contrasting dark gray upperparts and white underparts. The most distinctive field mark is the white band at the tip of the black tail. There is a small crown patch of red, orange, or yellow feathers, but this is usually concealed and very rarely seen. The sexes are alike in plumage. Males tend to sit more upright and often keep their crown feathers in a slight crest.

Length: 8.5"
Wingspan: 15"
Weight: 1.4 oz

Voice: The song is a buzzy, almost electric-sounding, series of short stzee stzee notes, or a repeated tiki tiki tiki.

Similar Species:

No other North American flycatcher is entirely dark gray above and white below, or has a white terminal band on the tail.
Habitat: Breeds in open areas including fencerows, grasslands with scattered trees, orchards etc. Winters in edge habitats usually near rivers, lakes, and in the canopy of tropical forests.

Diet: Flying insects, fruits especially in winter.

Nesting and reproduction: Both male and female aggressively defend territories, often returning to former territories in subsequent years.

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

Incubation: Female incubates the eggs for 14 to 16 days.

Fledging: Both parents feed the young, which leave the nest after 14 to 17 days. The young remain with the adults for up to 5 more weeks.

Nest: The female, escorted by the male, builds a bulky cup nest in a tree or shrub adjacent to an open area or over water. The average nest height in Tennessee is 20 feet, with a range of 3 to 65 feet (that highest nest was on a high voltage transmission tower).

Status in Tennessee: The Eastern Kingbird is common during the summer at low elevations across Tennessee. They arrive in early April and depart in August to early September. Their numbers appear to be declining in the state.
#Pray for Kentucky


“God just sat down and smiled after he made cats.”~Richard Dawkins

A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
– Lewis Gannett
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