Birds at the Nature Center

Photo by Rod Lentz

There is a saying that if the habitat is right the birds will be there, our prairie/savanna are living proof of that adage. This year alone we have seen more grassland species that ever recorded and as the grassland/savanna continues to improve so will the birding.

When we began this rehab process we knew that if certain species began to show up we were on the right tract so we established a short list of six species that would be our benchmark. They were the Field Sparrow. Henslow Sparrow. Common Yellowthroat. Dickcissel, Bob White Quail and in the savanna the Red headed Woodpecker. This was our first season after the controlled burn over the prairie/savanna and to date we have had breeding pairs of Field Sparrow and Common Yellowthroat in the prairie and Red headed Woodpeckers have been seen visiting the savanna. We are very excited about the future.

But just as important is the wide variety of birds that have visited our prairie/savanna this year during the fall migration, as well as the number that are calling the prairie/savanna home for the winter.

Sparrows. Grasshopper, Eastern Towhee, American Tree, Field, Chipping, Savanna, White throated, White crowned, Dark eye Junco, Fox, Swamp, Lincoln’s and Song.

Warblers. Chestnut sided, Prairie, Palm, Yellow throated, Black and White, American Redstart, Blue winged, Tennessee, Nashville, Orange Crowned, Northern Parula, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, Kentucky, Wilsons, Canada, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow breasted Chat, Mourning and the rare Connecticut. There is only warbler that is a winter visitor and that is the Yellow rumped, which are in good numbers.

Both Sedge and Marsh wrens as well and Summer and Scarlet Tanager, the Baltimore and Orchard Oriole and many other birds have visited this fall.

We also have a pair of Coopers Hawks and a Red Shouldered hawk in the area. The real treat was our first ever visit by a Merlin back in early October of 2013. Like the old adage goes; If the habitat is right the birds will be there.