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Author Topic: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE  (Read 9526 times)

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2021, 02:20:25 AM »

Osprey
Pandion haliaetus



With a wingspan of over 5 feet, the Osprey is one of the largest birds of prey in North America.  It eats live fish almost exclusively and is therefore usually found near large bodies of water.

The Osprey was a rare breeding bird in Tennessee before the large reservoirs were built in the early-mid 1900s, but like the Bald Eagle, it suffered low nesting success as a result of contamination from the insecticide DDT.

Starting in 1979, an aggressive hacking program was begun by TVA and TWRA in the state. Hacking is a method of releasing young birds into a suitable but unoccupied habitat.  Between 1980 and 1988, 165 Osprey were hacked from 16 sites across Tennessee.

While there is little specific information on the success of the hacking program, the number of active nests in the state increased from about 3 to 131, from 1980 to 1999 (the last year nests were counted).  Over 150 nests were counted during waterbird surveys across Tennessee in 2012, however, only maybe 10 percent of the river miles in the state were surveyed.

This expansion was also facilitated by the erection of numerous nesting platforms across the state, which continues to the present. The Osprey is one of the most widespread birds in the world, found on all continents except Antarctica.  During the winter, North American breeding Osprey mainly winter south of the United States, in Central and most of South America.

Description: The Osprey is dark brown above, white below, with a white head that has a prominent dark stripe through the eye. In-flight, the long narrow wings are bent at the wrist and patterMales, females, and juveniles look similar.

Length: 23"
Wingspan: 63"
Weight: 3.5 lbs.
Voice: The Osprey is quite vocal, and gives short, shrill whistles, or a single loud, slightly slurred whistle..

Similar Species:

Adult Bald Eagles have a completely white head and tail. Immature Bald Eagles are mottled brown and white, with varying amounts of white under the wings and on the head.ned brown and white.

Habitat: Large rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.

Diet: Live fish, typically 5 to 16 inches in size. Ospreys hover over the water and then plunge feet first onto their prey.

Nesting and reproduction: Ospreys do not start nesting until they are at least 3 years old, and will usually return to the nest used in the previous season.

Clutch Size: 3 eggs, occasionally 2 or 4.

Incubation: Both members of the pair incubate the eggs for 32 to 43 days.

Fledging: After the young hatch, the female stays with them, and the male brings food. Once the young can be left alone, both parents provide food. The young do not fledge until they are 44 to 59 days old.

Nest: Ospreys build large nests near water, on top of dead trees or artificial structures such as nesting poles, utility poles, and cell or TV towers. Nests are made of branches, sticks, and twigs, and lined with smaller twigs, grasses, and other material.

The nest is used for several years with new material added each year.  Old nests can reach 7 feet across and 5 feet deep. Nest Platform instructions here.

Status in Tennessee: The Osprey was a rare breeder in Tennessee before the construction of large reservoirs.

It was listed as Endangered in the state in 1975 because of its small population and poor nesting success.  Due to increasing numbers and a healthy reproductive rate, the status was lowered to Threatened in 1994, and the species was removed from the list entirely in 2000.

Currently across Tennessee, the Osprey is locally common in summer, uncommon during migration, and rare in winter.  The numbers of nesting Osprey in Tennessee continues to slowly increase
« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:09:33 PM 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 #31 on: August 04, 2021, 02:25:53 AM »

Osprey, continued


Obsolete English Names: fish hawk

 Dynamic map of Osprey eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

An Osprey nesting in central Quebec and wintering in southern Brazil might fly more than 124,000 miles in migration during its 15 to 20-year lifetime.
The oldest record for an Osprey in the wild was 26 years, 2 months.
The Osprey's talons are uniquely adapted for catching and carrying fish: their surfaces are rough, and their toes can be held with three forward and one back, or with two forward and two back, an arrangement seen in owls but not in other diurnal raptors. They will carry the fish head first in line with their body to reduce wind resistance in flight.








Best places to see in Tennessee:  Reelfoot Lake, Watts Bar, Melton Hill, Tellico, and Fort Loudoun Reservoirs, among many others.

At Watts Bar, a nest can be seen from the intersection of I-24 and Highway 840 on a cell tower northeast of the intersection of the highways.

Another nest can be found on a platform visible from I-40 where it crosses the Clinch River, immediately south of the Kingston Steam Plant.

For more information:

Tennessee's Woodworking for Wildlife page with nest box instructions

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

Poole, Alan F., Rob O. Bierregaard and Mark S. Martell. 2002. Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online


« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:09:52 PM 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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Linda M

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2021, 09:51:38 AM »

I saw an osprey nest with two chicks in it a couple of weeks ago.  They likely have fledged by now.  A young one from a nest in a city just west of here was caught in baling twine in the nest.  A bird watcher reported it, and there was a team from Dept. of Wildlife, a raptor rehab facility, and the local utility company ready to help it.  It was rescued by them when it flew off with the twine attached and was caught hanging upside down in a tree, sent to rehab, and was able to be released back at it's nest area in about a week; nice success story.

Photo of it in rehab, and a link to the video of the release below; I hope this link will work:

https://www.facebook.com/raptorprogram/videos/340432244298341
« Last Edit: August 05, 2021, 10:07:11 AM by Linda M »

Phyl

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Re: BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2021, 03:16:42 AM »

Sharp-shinned Hawk,
Accipiter striatus


The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a small hawk and a regular visitor to bird feeders, where it eats birds, not seed.   Built to move quickly and quietly within dense forest, the Sharp-shinned Hawk approaches its prey stealthily, until it is close enough to overcome its target with a burst of speed.

They breed from central Alaska, across most of Canada and the United States, parts of Mexico, Central America, and in northern South America. They spend the winter from southern Canada through most of the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Description: Male and female Sharp-shinned Hawks have similar plumage, but are more different in size than any other North American hawk.  Males average only 57% the body mass of females.

Adults are gray above with barred, reddish-brown underparts.  Their barred tail is long, narrow, square-tipped, and has a narrow white terminal band. During their first year, Sharp-shinned Hawks are brown above, with brown and white streaking on the belly.  Adult eyes are red; first year bird's eyes are yellow.

In flight, Sharp-shinned Hawks have short, rounded wings that are set slightly more forward on their bodies than those of the larger, but similar-looking, Cooper's Hawk.

Length: 9 to 13"
Wingspan: 17" to 22"
Weight: 0.2 to 0.5 lbs.

Similar Species:

Cooper's Hawk has similar plumage and habits, but has a longer, rounded tail, a larger head, and, in the adult, there is a stronger contrast between the back and the darker cap on the head. The juvenile Cooper's Hawk has less streaking on the belly, and more white on the tip of the tail. In flight, the larger head of the Cooper's Hawk is apparent, and extends out farther in front of the wings. (See link below for more details on distinguishing these two species.)
Habitat: Large stands of deciduous, coniferous, and mixed pine-hardwood forests and pine plantations. In winter, often found in woodlots, towns, and parks.

Diet: Mostly small birds; some large insects and small mammals.

Nesting and reproduction: The species' secretive nature, and the dense vegetation of its nesting habitat, makes it difficult to find and study during the breeding season.

Clutch Size: 4 to 5 eggs, occasionally 3 to 8.

Incubation: Female incubates for 30 to 32 days, while the male brings food to her.

Fledging: At 3 to 4 weeks, the young start venturing out of the nest to nearby branches, and begin to fly a few weeks later.  Once the young can make sustained flights, the parents pass prey to them in mid-air.  The young remain with the parents for another few weeks until they become independent.

Nest: Male and female help collect material for the nest, although the female does most of the building.  The nest is made of large twigs lined with bark, and is often built on top of an old squirrel or crow nest.  The nest is usually well concealed in a dense conifer tree, 20 to 60 feet off the ground.

Status in Tennessee: Sharp-shinned Hawks are an uncommon permanent resident, breeding mainly in Middle and East Tennessee.  They are much more common in the state in September and October, during fall migration, especially along the eastern mountains.  More northerly nesting birds join Tennessee's resident population in the winter.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:10:23 PM 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 #34 on: August 06, 2021, 03:23:21 AM »

Sharp-shinned Hawk, continued

Dynamic map of Sharp-shinned Hawk eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

Sharp-shinned Hawks, like many hawks, migrate south following certain landscape features like ridges. Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania and Cape May Point, New Jersey are two such locations where large numbers of hawks can be seen during the fall.
Obsolete English Names: little blue darter, sparrow hawk, slate-colored hawk

Best places to see in Tennessee: Sharp-shinned Hawks are most easily seen during September and October in the eastern mountains as they migrate south.









Sources:

Bildstein, Keith L. and Ken Meyer. 2000. Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online

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

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

« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:10:38 PM 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 #35 on: August 06, 2021, 03:26:25 AM »

Cooper's Hawk,
Accipiter cooperii



The Cooper's Hawk is a crow-sized woodland raptor that specializes in eating birds.   It is built for fast flight through an obstacle course of trees and limbs and is adept at catching birds in flight, including birds at birdfeeders. 

A recent radio-tracking study in southwest Tennessee found that during the non-breeding season, forest habitats were used most for foraging, edge habitats second, and open fields third, even though fields were just as available as forests.

The Cooper's Hawk breeds across most of the United States, southern Canada, and northern Mexico, and winters throughout the United States and Mexico. It is most readily observed during fall migration at "hawk watch" sites where raptors concentrate.

Description: Male and female Cooper's Hawks have similar plumage, but the female is about one third larger than the male.  Adults are gray above with a darker contrasting cap on the head, the underparts are barred reddish-brown, the tail is long, rounded, and barred, and the wings are rounded.

During the first year, Cooper's Hawks are brown above, with brown streaking on the white underparts. Adult eyes are red; first-year bird's eyes are yellow. In-flight, the wingbeat is stiff, and the head appears large.

Length: 14" to 20"
Wingspan: 24" to 35"
Weight: 0.5 to 1.3 lbs.

Similar Species:

The Sharp-shinned Hawk has similar plumage and habits, and both species frequent bird feeders in winter. Though the Sharp-shinned Hawk is smaller, there is an overlap between the smallest male Cooper's and a large female Sharp-shinned Hawk. The tail of a Sharp-shinned Hawk tends to be square at the tips, the head is comparatively smaller, and there is little contrast in color between the head and back. There is overlap with male Cooper's Hawks and female Sharp-shinned, making identification of all individuals problematic without extensive experience with the species (See link below for more details on distinguishing these two species.)
Habitat: In Tennessee, Cooper's Hawks tend to nest near the edge of large patches of deciduous, mixed, and coniferous forests, rural woodlots, and wooded suburban areas.

Diet: Mostly eats medium-sized birds such as doves, pigeons, jays, and robins.

Nesting and reproduction: This is a secretive and inconspicuous species during the breeding season.

Clutch Size: 4 to 5 eggs, occasionally 3 to 7.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 32 to 36 days, while the male brings her food.

Fledging: Both parents feed the nestlings. They start to climb about the nest at 4 weeks of age and begin to make short flights soon after. The parents continue to feed the young for up to 7 weeks.

Nest: The nest is an open bowl of sticks lined with bark and placed in the main crotch, or against the trunk, of a live tree.  Often placed on top of old crow, squirrel, or other hawk nests. The same nest is often used in subsequent years. Nest heights range from 10' to 60' above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: The Cooper's Hawk is an uncommon permanent resident, breeding mainly in Middle and East Tennessee.  It is most common during fall migration, from September to October, especially along the eastern mountains. In winter, more northerly nesting birds join Tennessee's resident population.  Numbers of Cooper's Hawks appear to be stable or possibly increasing.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:10:56 PM 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: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2021, 03:31:39 AM »

Cooper's Hawk, continued

Dynamic map of Cooper's Hawk eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

Cooper's Hawks fly at high speed through vegetation to catch their prey. A recent study found that 23% of all Cooper's Hawks examined had healed fractures in the bones of the chest, especially of the furcula (wishbone). They will also chase prey on foot through thickets.
Unlike falcons that use their bills, Cooper's Hawks squeeze their prey to death with their feet and have been known to drown prey by holding them underwater.
Female Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks are more than 30% larger than males and show some of the greatest reversed size dimorphism of any of the world's hawks.
Large numbers of Cooper's Hawks can be seen on migration, especially at hawk watches such as Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania; Cape May, New Jersey. Fall migration generally begins in late August and continues through early November.
Obsolete English Names: big blue darter, chicken hawk

Best places to see in Tennessee: During migration, at hawk watch sites





Sources:

Curtis, Odette E., R. N. Rosenfield and J. Bielefeldt. 2006. Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online

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

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.
'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 #37 on: August 08, 2021, 05:21:26 PM »

Bald Eagles in Tennessee


he Bald Eagle was declared the national symbol of the United States in 1782.  Ironically, in the lower 48 states, this species was threatened with extinction in the 1950s and 1960s, due to reproductive failure caused by the pesticide DDT.

This pesticide was banned in 1972. Due to the banning of DDT, habitat protections provided by the Endangered Species Act, and aggressive reintroduction programs conducted by federal and state agencies, Bald Eagle numbers increased sufficiently to be removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species on August 9, 2007.

The Bald Eagle was among the first species to be listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1973 and among the first to be delisted. This species still receives protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act. T

The Bald Eagle is a true North American species breeding and wintering from Alaska, across Canada, in most of the United States, and northern Mexico.

Description: The sexes are alike in plumage, but the female is approximately 20% larger than the male.

The adult Bald Eagle is unmistakable with its all-white head and tail.  The body is dark brown, and the bill, eyes, legs, and feet are yellow.  The legs are unfeathered.

In-flight, the wings are long and broad and held flat while soaring.

Bald Eagles do not reach adult plumage until they are 5 years old.  Immature plumages vary greatly with age but include a mix of dark brown and white scattered throughout the plumage, while some first-year birds are all brown.

During the first 4 years, the bill is blackish, becoming light at the base, the eyes are brown, while legs and feet are yellow, like the adult.

Length: 28-38"
Wingspan: 6.5'
Weight: lbs. 6.5-14 lbs.

Similar Species:

Adult and immature Golden Eagles look like immature Bald Eagles, but they have feathered legs, the white on the underside of the wing is limited to a patch on the flight feathers, and they soar with the outer part of their wings lifted in a slight "V". All immature Bald Eagles have a variety of mixed brown and white feathers on the breast and wings. Golden Eagles are rare in Tennessee in all seasons.
Habitat: Breeds in forested areas near large bodies of water. Bald Eagles winter on reservoirs and large rivers in Tennessee.

Diet: Opportunistic feeder, but prefers fish. Bald Eagles will eat large birds, injured waterfowl, mammals, and carrion.

Nesting and reproduction: Bald Eagles form long-term pair bonds that usually last the life of the birds. In Tennessee, egg laying peaks in late February.

Clutch Size: Usually 2 eggs, but occasionally 1 or 3 eggs.

Incubation: Both parents incubate from 34 to 36 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the nestlings, which leave the nest in 10 to 12 weeks. Young birds usually remain near the nest for another several week.

Nest: The male assists the female in building a large bulky nest in the top of a large tree near an opening that can accommodate their large wingspan. The nest is used for several years with new material added each year. Old nests can reach 8 feet across and 12 feet deep, and weigh several tons.

Status in Tennessee: The size and distribution of the Bald Eagle population in Tennessee, before the continent-wide population crash in the 1950s to mid-1970s, is unknown.

However, there were no known successful Bald Eagle nests found in the state between 1961 and 1983. Efforts, coordinated by TWRA, to restore Tennessee's eagle population began in 1980 and continued until 2003, and young eagles were "hacked", a form of reintroduction, at several locations in the state.

The first successful Bald Eagle nest was discovered near Dover, TN in the spring of 1983. There are over 175 nesting pairs of Bald Eagles in Tennessee today (as of 2012), and most of these birds remain in the state year-round. Individuals from more northern breeding populations migrate to Tennessee for the winter, arriving in late October, and peak numbers of 300 to 500 individuals occur in late January to mid-February.

« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:13:34 PM 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 #38 on: August 08, 2021, 05:26:16 PM »

Bald Eagle, continued

Dynamic map of Bald Eagle eBird observations in Tennessee




One Tennessee citizen, Thomas McEwen has been keeping up with an Eagle family in Middle Tennessee.  You can see mom, dad and baby in our following photo gallery.   To see more of Thomas's images, and follow along with the Eagle family, you can visit www.tmcewenphotography.com





« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:13:51 PM 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 #39 on: August 08, 2021, 05:28:59 PM »

Bald Eagle, continued

Best places to see in Tennessee: In winter: Reelfoot, Dale Hollow, Kentucky, Chickamauga, Watts Bar, and Pickwick Lakes.


 Fun Facts:

The "bald" in Bald Eagles comes from an old English term meaning white, referring to its white head.
The life span has been recorded at 39 years in the wild and 50 years in captivity.
Horizontal flight speed has been measured at 44 miles per hour.
Obsolete English Names: American bald eagle, white-headed eagle

Sources:
Buehler, David A. 2000. Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online

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


« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:11:20 PM 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 #40 on: August 08, 2021, 05:32:06 PM »

Red-shouldered Hawk,
 Buteo lineatus


This common forest-dwelling the Red Shouldered Hawk is often seen soaring and calling loudly and repeatedly.  It may be the most vocal of American hawks, but since a Blue Jay can imitate a Red-shouldered Hawk remarkably well, care must be used when identifying this bird by voice alone.

This hawk generally hunts from a perch, waiting for its prey to reveal itself, and then swooping down to snatch it from the ground or water surface. The Red-shouldered Hawk is found in woodlands near water in the eastern United States and in California.  They spend the non-breeding season throughout much of that range below the Canadian border.

Description: The Red-shouldered Hawk is a fairly large hawk, with black and white striped wings and tail, a mottled brown back, and orange barring on the breast.  The "red-shoulder" is actually rust colored and not always obvious.

In flight from above, the rusty wing-coverts contrast with the black-and-white striped flight feathers; from below when backlit, there is a translucent crescent-shaped panel in the outer primaries of the wing.

During their first year, birds have brown upperparts, streaked brown and white underparts, and a tail with dark and light brown bands.

Males and females look alike, but the female is larger.

Length: 17"
Wingspan: 40"
Weight: 1.4 lbs.

Voice: Often calls in a series of descending keeyuur screams, similar to a Blue Jay.

Similar Species:

Broad-winged Hawks have broader black and white tailbands, and pale under wings that contrast with a dark outside boarder.
Habitat: Mature, mixed moist deciduous-coniferous woodlands, especially bottomland hardwood, riparian areas, and flooded deciduous swamps.

Diet: Small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and crayfish.

Nesting and reproduction: Pairs return to breeding territories in January and February, and soar in circles high over their territories calling loudly.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 eggs, occasionally 2 to 4.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for 28 days. The male supplies her and the young with nearly all of their food until the young near fledging.

Fledging: Young leave the nest at about 6 weeks of age, but may continue to be fed by their parents for another 8 to10 weeks.

Nest: The nest is usually placed below the canopy in a main fork of a tall, mature, deciduous tree close to water.  Both the male and female construct the nest of sticks and line it with twigs or leaves.

The nest may be used in subsequent years, with new lining added.  Nest heights in Tennessee average 45' and range from 25' to 65' above the ground.

Status in Tennessee: The Red-shouldered Hawk is a permanent resident and found throughout most of the state.  It was listed as In Need of Management from 1976 until 1994 because of concerns over range-wide declines.

However, in Tennessee, the Red-shouldered Hawk population appears to have been increasing since the 1960s. The wintering population is composed of non-migratory resident birds and birds from more northern breeding areas.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:14:11 PM 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 #41 on: August 08, 2021, 05:37:12 PM »

Red-shouldered Hawkcontinued

Dynamic map of Red-shouldered Hawk eBird observations in Tennessee



Fun Facts:

By the time they are 5 days old, nestling Red-shouldered Hawks can shoot their feces over the edge of their nest. Bird poop on the ground is a sign of an active nest.
The Red-shouldered Hawks and the Barred Owls occupy the same range in the eastern United States. They prefer the same moist woodland habitats and eat similar animals. The hawk is active during the day, and the owl is active at night.
Obsolete English Names: elegant hawk, winter hawk, red-bellied hawk

Best places to see in Tennessee: Red-shouldered Hawks breed throughout much of the state where there is deciduous forest near open water and clearings.








Sources:

Dykstra, C.R., J.L. Hays and S.T. Crocoll. 2008. Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online

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

Robinson J. C. 1990. An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Tennessee. Univ. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN
« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:14:25 PM 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 #42 on: August 10, 2021, 12:55:35 AM »

Red-tailed Hawk,
Buteo jamaicensis



The Red-tailed Hawk is one of the most widespread and commonly observed hawks in Tennessee. It frequently perches in trees along roadside and is more likely to nest in wooded residential neighborhoods than other hawks.

The breeding range of the Red-tailed Hawk extends across North America from Alaska to Florida and southward to Panama and the Caribbean. It is found in Tennessee year round and migrants from the northern parts of the range join resident birds in winter.

Description: The Red-tailed Hawk is extremely variable in appearance across North America with light and dark forms. Tennessee birds look like the most common eastern form with a pale chest and dark band across the belly, and a reddish unbarred tail. In flight, wings are long and broad with a dark bar on the leading edge.

During their first year, birds have a streaked brown belly and brown tail with several dark bars. Males and females look alike, but as with most birds of prey, the female is larger.

Length: 19"
Wingspan: 49"
Weight: 2.4 lbs

Voice: The call is a distinctive descending raspy scream, kleeyeeeeer.

Similar Species:

Red-shouldered Hawk has a black and white banded tail and appears more uniformly colored.
Habitat: Found in open areas with scattered elevated perches including near agricultural areas, pastures, parkland, and open woodland. Commonly seen perched on telephone poles and trees along roadsides.

Diet: Small to medium sized mammals, birds, and snakes, with occasional insects and fresh carrion.

Nesting and reproduction: Red-tailed Hawks rarely breed before their second year. They form long-term pair bonds that usually last the life of the birds. Males and females perform a courtship ritual in which they dive and roll in the sky. They may lock talons and fall towards the ground before splitting apart.

Clutch Size: 2 to 3 eggs, rarely to 5.

Incubation: Both adults incubate for about 34 days. Female generally does all of the brooding of the young, while the male supplies her and the young with food.

Fledging: The young start climbing branches near the nest after 42 to 46 days and leave the nest after 9 weeks. They will remain with their parents for up to 10 more weeks.

Nest: The large stick nest is built by both adults and is usually placed in a large tree in an open area. Nest material is added in subsequent years and nests can reach a diameter of over 3 feet. Nest heights range from 25 to 100 feet above the ground, with an average height of 65 feet.

Status in Tennessee: The Red-tailed Hawk is a common, permanent resident statewide. In winter the Tennessee breeding population is augmented by an influx of more northern nesting birds. Maximum numbers occur in the state from November through March. The population is stable or increasing in Tennessee.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:11:35 PM 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 #43 on: August 10, 2021, 12:59:32 AM »

Red-tailed Hawk, continued

Dynamic map of Red-tailed Hawk eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

Filmmakers frequently use the cry of a Red-tailed hawk to represent any hawk or eagle anywhere in the world.
The oldest record for a Red-tailed Hawk in the wild was 28 years 10 months.
85 to 90% of the Red-tailed Hawk's diet is composed of small rodents.
Red-tailed Hawks can spot a mouse from a height of 100 feet.
Harlan's hawk and Krider's Hawk are names given to 2 western subspecies of the Red-tailed Hawk.
Obsolete English Names: buzzard hawk

Best places to see in Tennessee: Roadsides and open lands statewide.

For more information:

Patuxent Wildlife Research Center species information




Sources:

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

Preston, C. R. and R. D. Beane. 1993. Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis ), 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.



« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:11:50 PM 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 #44 on: August 10, 2021, 01:02:21 AM »

Killdeer
Charadrius vociferus




Killdeers are the most widespread and familiar shorebird in North America because they take advantage of man-altered habitats like gravel roads, athletic fields, lawns, as well as mudflats near water. They are easily identified by the two dark bands on their chest, and the kill-deer call they give even in flight and after dark.

The breeding range of the Killdeer extends across Alaska and Canada south to southern Mexico, and in winter from southern Alaska across the upper U.S. south to northern South America.

Killdeers are common year round residents in Tennessee.

Description: The Killdeer is a medium-sized shorebird that is brown above, white below with two conspicuous black bands across the chest, and a bright orange rump visible in flight. It has a round head, large eye, short neck, and moderately long legs.

Males and females look alike.

Length: 10.5"

Wingspan: 24"

Weight: 3.3 oz

Voice: The call is a loud, piercing kill-deer. The call is given during the day, but also at night.

Similar Species:

No other North American shorebird has two chest bands.
Habitat: Foraging habitat includes pastures, cultivated fields, athletic fields, airports, golf courses, gravel parking lots, sandbars, and mudflats. Common nest sites in Tennessee include pastures, recently plowed fields, lake and pond margins, gravel roads, parking lots, gravel rooftops, airports, and golf courses.

Diet: Terrestrial invertebrates, especially earthworms, grasshoppers, beetles and snails.

Nesting and reproduction: In Tennessee, the Killdeer has one of the longest breeding seasons of any breeding bird in the state nesting from late winter to mid-summer, and often raises two broods in one season.

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

Incubation: Both adults incubate the eggs for 24 to 28 days. The male usually incubates at night.

Fledging: The young leave the nest within hours of hatching and are tended by both parents. They are independent at about 40 days.

Nest: The nest is a simple scrape on the ground made by the male in an open exposed area.

Status in Tennessee: The Killdeer is a common permanent resident across the state. The population appears to be increasing.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 03:12:03 PM 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