Saturday, May 2, 2009

March / April Birding Journal Observations


Lowcountryoutdoors.com will provide a bird watching synopsis every two months, and the spring observations always promise to be exciting with the northward bird migration. At the bird feeder in Colleton County I recorded a mockingbird, brown thrasher, bluebird, white-throated sparrow, cardinal, downy woodpecker, goldfinch, chipping sparrow, blue jay, brown-headed cowbird, yellow-bellied sapsucker, dove, tufted titmouse, pileated woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, carolina chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch and lots of cedar waxwings. In the cow pasture I recorded a great blue heron, barn swallows, canada geese, wood ducks, bats and a red-tailed hawk. Sightings of note: FIRST ruby-throated hummingbirds sighted on 4/7/09, FIRST Swallow-tailed kite sighted 4/22/09, FIRST yellow-bellied cuckoo sighted 4/22/09, FIRST summer tanager sighted on 4/27/09, and FIRST blue grosbeak sighted on 4/27/09.

Did You Know? The Early Bird Project to study bird genetics performed by the Chicago Field Museum has five years of data comparing the genes of 169 avian species. Their results show that some birds that look different in appearance are more like long-lost kin. Hummingbirds (usually brightly-colored) and nightjars (always drab) are related, while chickadees and parrots are related to the peregrine falcon. Hmm.

To view the Jan.-Feb. '09 birding blog entry click here.

Photo by Jeff Mollenhauer / Francis Beidler Audubon Center: neotropical migratory songbird - Prothonotary Warbler

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