Kentucky Warbler

Kentucky Warbler, Geothlypis formosa

Kentucky Warbler, Geothlypis formosa


Migration keeps bringing in new birds every day. Today I got a very good look at an American Redstart but it was so high up in the treetops that I could not get a photograph.

Kentucky Warblers are also challenging to photograph. They never seem to step out of the shadows. I photographed this one today in the Eastern Valley; about a 10-minute walk from the PGT Visitor Center.

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Big Day at the PGT

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera

Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera


I found 80 different kinds of birds as I walked around the 600-acres here at the PGT today. I started sunrise and stopped only when a rainstorm popped up in the late afternoon. My pedometer says I walked 8.5 miles and I believe it. My feet are tired!

Using the App called BirdLog NA made it easy to keep track of what I was seeing in the field. When I was done it uploads to eBird.org When you go there look for the Hotspot called Prairie Garden Trust.

The Tennessee Warblers were a bit overwhelming. I reported identifying 78 throughout the day but I’ll be it was many more. Their loud song seemed to be coming from everywhere!
Canada Goose 8
Northern Bobwhite 5
Wild Turkey 5
Great Blue Heron 12
Green Heron 2
Turkey Vulture 11
Red-shouldered Hawk 5
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Mourning Dove 9
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 9
Chimney Swift 6
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 12
Red-bellied Woodpecker 9
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
American Kestrel 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee 12
Acadian Flycatcher 1
Least Flycatcher 2
Eastern Phoebe 8
Great Crested Flycatcher 5
Eastern Kingbird 4
White-eyed Vireo 1
Yellow-throated Vireo 2
Philadelphia Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 4
Blue Jay 19
American Crow 5
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 8
Purple Martin 1
Black-capped Chickadee 2
Tufted Titmouse 18
White-breasted Nuthatch 4
House Wren 1
Carolina Wren 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 23
Eastern Bluebird 10
Swainson’s Thrush 2
Wood Thrush 3
American Robin 1
Gray Catbird 2
Brown Thrasher 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
European Starling 1
Ovenbird 2
Worm-eating Warbler 3
Louisiana Waterthrush 2
Blue-winged Warbler 7
Golden-winged Warbler 2
Black-and-white Warbler 3
Tennessee Warbler 78
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 5
Kentucky Warbler 6
Common Yellowthroat 18
Northern Parula 8
Yellow Warbler 1
Blackpoll Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4
Yellow-throated Warbler 1
Prairie Warbler 1
Yellow-breasted Chat 7
Eastern Towhee 5
Chipping Sparrow 6
Field Sparrow 19
Henslow’s Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Summer Tanager 7
Scarlet Tanager 1
Northern Cardinal 18
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Blue Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 23
Red-winged Blackbird 23
Eastern Meadowlark 4
Brown-headed Cowbird 9
Baltimore Oriole 1
American Goldfinch 56
House Sparrow 5

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Black-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus

Black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus


A Cooper’s Hawk chased two Black-billed Cuckoos through the tree tops along Beaver Lake this morning. The hawk missed it’s meal but I was able to get this shot as one of the birds paused.

We see Yellow-billed Cuckoo much more often than Black-billed Cuckoos here.

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Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra

Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra


Summer Tanagers are fairly common but seldom seen since they seem to hang out behind the leaves in the tops of tall trees.For this shot from this morning we were up high enough on sloping ground to get a good look at this bird basking in the morning sunlight.

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White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus


I went out a couple days ago and found this vireo in a thicket near our family cemetery. The unusual eye color makes this a stunning bird.

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Polioptila caerulea

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Polioptila caerulea


It was such a pretty day today that I took two long walks. On the walk this afternoon I photographed this hyperkinetic Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. These tiny birds are very common at the PGT but they move so fast that it’s hard to get a good look at them.

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Yellow-throated Vireo

Yellow-throated vireo, Vireo flavifrons

Yellow-throated vireo, Vireo flavifrons


On a picnic today I heard the familiar burry call of the vireo. I was glad that I had my bird lens with me and was able to get this shot.
I tried to get a picture of a Yellow-throated Vireo last year but they never would come out of the treetops. This bird cooperated!

The Yellow-throated Vireo convinced me that even vireos can be beautiful. Hal and Mary Williamson tried to convince me that vireos can be very appealing but it wasn’t until I got a close look at a Yellow-throated Vireo a few years ago that I believed them.

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Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole, Icterus galbula

Baltimore Oriole, Icterus galbula


Yesterday I saw my first Oriole of the year. It was trying to find some insects to eat in the emerging hickory buds.

Reminder: The PGT Birdwalk is at 7 AM next Saturday May 2nd. There should be lots of birds to see.

Lorna and I took a walk this morning and saw 60 different species. I was especially happy to see two Red-headed Woodpeckers and the Yellow-breasted Chats.

Here is what we saw this morning:
Northern Bobwhite  5
Wild Turkey  1
American Bittern  1    
Great Blue Heron  13
Turkey Vulture  10
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Coot  1
Killdeer  5
Mourning Dove  4
Barred Owl  1
Chimney Swift  2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Red-headed Woodpecker  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker  7
Downy Woodpecker  7
Pileated Woodpecker  1
American Kestrel  1
Least Flycatcher  1     
Eastern Phoebe  8
Great Crested Flycatcher  6
White-eyed Vireo  2
Yellow-throated Vireo  3
Red-eyed Vireo  1
Blue Jay  45
American Crow  3
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  6
Tree Swallow  3
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Tufted Titmouse  13
White-breasted Nuthatch  4
House Wren  2
Carolina Wren  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  22
Eastern Bluebird  6
American Robin  5
Brown Thrasher  2
Northern Mockingbird  1
Cedar Waxwing  20
Ovenbird  1
Worm-eating Warbler  3     
Louisiana Waterthrush  3
Blue-winged Warbler  16     
Black-and-white Warbler  4
Kentucky Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  8
Northern Parula  9
Yellow-rumped Warbler  8
Yellow-breasted Chat  2
Eastern Towhee  4
Chipping Sparrow  7
Field Sparrow  16     
Song Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  3
Summer Tanager  2
Northern Cardinal  14
Blue Grosbeak  2
Red-winged Blackbird  12
Eastern Meadowlark  3
Brown-headed Cowbird  17
American Goldfinch  14

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Prairie Warbler

Setophaga discolor

Prairie Warbler, Setophaga discolor


Every day new birds arrive. Today I saw two new Warblers:
Prairie Warbler
Ovenbird

Both of these birds nest at the PGT. Most of the Warblers that are simply passing through on their way to Canada haven’t arrived yet. They should be showing up in a week or two.

This Prairie Warbler was in a cedar tree not far from our family cemetery.

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Rose Verbena

Rose Verbena, Glandularia canadensis

Rose Verbena, Glandularia canadensis


The rush of the Spring Wildflowers is on! One of the short flowers that is easy to overlook is called Rose Verbena. I photographed this one near our barn.

Rose Verbena has the longest bloom time of any wildflower; it can bloom from March into August. It’s a great butterfly magnet and is native to most of eastern and central United States.

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