Who’s Nesting

A Cooper’s Hawk was seen carrying prey on the 7th of June. The hawk appeared to be a female and was flying in the direction of the pines which surround the Ellerbee Creek Railway tracks near the train tunnel. This is the area in which Cooper’s Hawks nested last year. The fact that this bird was carrying prey, and was a female, seems to indicate that there were young Cooper’s Hawks in those pines waiting to be fed. I’ve yetRead more

Early Nesters, Arrivals, Delayed Departures

It was a busy time for birds. Besides the Red-shouldered Hawks snatching frogs out of the Wetlands, Carolina Chickadees feeding their young in a nest in a Loblolly Pine between Catch the Wind and Explore the Wild, and the Red-bellied Woodpeckers sitting on eggs in another loblolly in front of the Lemur House, many new seasonal arrivals and migrants have been observed. After a seven-month absence, a Green Heron was back on station on 28 April. As if it hadRead more

3 Bald Eagles!

A female Wood Duck was in the Wetlands on the 21st of September. Traditionally, the third week in September sees a push of migrating hawks through the region when the winds are from the north. More often than not, the winds were from the north during the third and fourth weeks in September. Unfortunately for those of us who like to watch hawks and also reside in the piedmont, most migrating hawks move along the ridges in the western partRead more

Wood Ducks Drop in for Visit

A pair of Wood Ducks graced the Wetlands with their presence during the period. They were on the far side of the water near the willows. As I’ve said before, you never know what’s going to come swimming out of the willows. I’ve caught an occasional glimpse of at least one Wood Duck during the summer months, but haven’t seen a male and female together until the first week in September. Green Herons are a daily sight in the Wetlands.Read more

Some Bird Movement

The Mallards which had so discreetly nested in the Wetlands (Explore the Wild Journal, June 16-30) are being seen daily in front of the Wetlands Overlook. It appears that all 7 ducklings survived to adulthood. Canada Geese have returned to the Wetlands after a two-month absence. On August 23 I saw a Northern Waterthrush walking on plant debris in the water among the fading Lotus plants in the Wetlands. The small, olive-brown-backed warbler with dark streaks on its undersides bouncedRead more

Broadwinged Hawk!

Finally, a Broad-winged Hawk! I had expected to see a Broad-winged Hawk in mid to late April when they first arrive back from their winters spent in South America. They usually slip into the nesting season with little fanfare so they can easily be missed. Broad-wings don’t make very much noise, usually vocalizing only during the early part of the nesting season. When they do call out, it sounds more like a Killdeer’s whistled song, or the song of anRead more