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Author Topic: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE  (Read 3847 times)

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #150 on: Today at 01:23:39 AM »

American Robin, Turdus migratorius



The American Robin is a familiar neighborhood bird tugging at earthworms on suburban lawns across the United States in summer. Surprisingly, it is also one of the most common birds at the northern limit of the boreal forest in the arctic! In winter these robins retreat to the lower 48 states and often roost in large flocks, sometimes numbering into the hundreds of thousands. More northerly nesters join Tennessee's resident birds during the non-breeding season.

Description: The American Robin is a large thrush with a gray back and wings, a plain orange breast, and a white lower belly. The head is dark with white crescents above and below the eye. The tail is moderately long with white spots at corners of the outer tail feathers.

The female is slightly paler than the male; the juvenile (May-September) looks somewhat similar to the adult, but with black spotting on the underparts and pale spotting on the upperparts.

Length: 10"
Wingspan: 17"
Weight: 2.7 oz

Voice: The song is a series of melodious liquid phrases, cheerup cheerily cheerily. Calls include a rapid tut tut tut and a chuckling horse-like whinny.

Similar Species:

No other North American bird is gray on the back and wings and has a plain orange breast.
Habitat: Found in forests, woodlands, and gardens. Common in urban and suburban areas, especially where short-grass areas are interspersed with shrubs and trees.

Diet: American Robins eat invertebrates, especially earthworms, and fruit.

Nesting and reproduction: In Tennessee American Robins usually raise two broods of young. Many start nesting in late winter, but peak egg laying is in mid-April.

Clutch Size: 3 to 5 eggs with 4 eggs most frequent.

Incubation: Females incubate the eggs for 12 to 14 days.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young. Fledglings leave the nest in about two weeks and remain dependent on their parents for another two weeks. Second broods are frequently begun before the fledglings from the first brood are fully independent.

Nest: The female builds an open cup-nest of grass and twigs held together with a thick layer of mud and lined with fine dry grass. The nest is usually relatively low in a tree on a firm branch with dense foliage, in the crotch of a large shrub, or occasionally on a ledge or other part of a building. In Tennessee nest heights range from 3 to 40 feet with an average of 11 feet. Old nests may be reused, but more frequently a new nest is build for the next brood.

Status in Tennessee: The American Robin is a common permanent resident across the state. The population in Tennessee, as well as rangewide, is increasing.

Map of American Robin eBird observations in Tennessee
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

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

Phyl

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Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #151 on: Today at 01:31:01 AM »

Gray Catbird
Dumetella carolinensis



This secretive bird of dense thickets gets its name from the cat-like mew call that it makes. The Gray Catbird's song is an exuberant series of musical whistles and catlike meows interspersed with imitations of other birds' songs. It may start singing before dawn and continue until after dusk, being one of the last birds to settle in for the night.

The Gray Catbird breeds across southern Canada and in all but the southwestern states.  In winter it is found along the East Coast and around the Gulf of Mexico into Central America and the Caribbean.  The Gray Catbird is fairly common in Tennessee from late April until October with a few individuals spending the winter scattered across the state.

Description: This is a plain gray, medium-sized songbird with a black cap, a long, black tail that is often cocked, and chestnut colored undertail coverts. The sexes are alike.

Length: 8.5"
Wingspan: 11"
Weight: 1.3 oz

Voice: The male Gray Catbird sings a long series of variable squeaks, whistles, and melodious notes. These notes can include imitations of other birds' songs, frogs, or even mechanical sounds. The call is a very cat-like mew. Females will also sing softly on occasion.

Similar Species:

Northern Mockingbirds are paler gray with white in the wings and tail.
Brown Thrashers or Northern Mockingbirds also mimic other bird species. Catbirds tend to repeat notes once, whereas thrashers repeat notes twice, and mockingbirds often repeat notes three or more times.
Habitat: Found in dense, shrubby habitats, such as abandoned farmland, fencerows, roadsides, streamsides, forest edges, and some residential areas.

Diet: Insects and small fruits.

Nesting and reproduction: Gray Catbirds only defend territories in a limited area around the nest. Adults may leave their territory to feed with other catbirds in undefended areas. In Tennessee they often raise two broods.

Clutch Size: Usually 3 to 5 eggs with 4 eggs most common in Tennessee. Peak egg laying occurs in mid-May and extends into early July.

Incubation: The female incubates the eggs for about 14 days and is often fed by her mate.

Fledging: Both adults feed the young, which fledge in about 11 days. They remain dependent on the adults for another two weeks.

Nest: The bulky nest, mainly constructed by the female, is made of twigs, grasses, and weed stems and lined with finer material. It is placed in a dense shrub, a small tree, or in vines.

Status in Tennessee: The Gray Catbird is an uncommon to fairly common summer resident across the state and a rare winter resident.  Most birds arrive in mid- to late April and depart by October.

Numbers have declined significantly since 1980 in Tennessee. The reasons for the decline are not known, but a decrease in suitable nesting habitat resulting from maturing forests, and a trend toward "cleaner" farms with fewer fencerows may be a contributing factor.
'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 #152 on: Today at 01:40:08 AM »

Gray Catbird, continued


Map of Gray Catbird eBird observations in Tennessee


Fun Facts:

Gray Catbirds are able to sing such complicated songs partly because they have a complicated syrinx (song box) that allows them to sing two notes simultaneously.
The male Gray Catbird will sing loudly when announcing or defending his territory and more softly when near the nest or when an intruding catbird is nearby. The female may sing the quiet song back to her mate.
Unlike most songbirds Gray Catbirds can identify Brown-headed Cowbirds eggs and will eject them from their nests. This prevents catbirds from raising cowbird young at the expense of their own nestlings.
The oldest known Gray Catbird in the wild was 17 years 11 months old.
Obsolete English Names: common catbird, northern catbird

Best places to see in Tennessee: This species is never easy to see but can be easily heard in dense shrubby habitats, especially in the eastern two-thirds of the state.




Sources:

Cimprich, D. A. and F. R. Moore. 1995. Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), 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.


'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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  • Maggie lives in Nashville,Tennessee Music City USA
    • https://parler.com @Phylll
Re: COMMON BIRDS OF TENNESSEE
« Reply #153 on: Today at 10:26:28 AM »

Comming soon!

The state bird of Tennessee...
'Which is more beautiful — feline movement or feline stillness?' Elizabeth Hamilton

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