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Birds & Birding Regional Birder

This is regional birding information for:

Southeast
February 2016

The Southeast is dominate by two major forest types that dictate the kinds of wildlife, including birdlife, that live there: The southern Appalachian forest, represented brilliantly by the Great Smoky Mountains, and the widely spread southern mixed pine-oak forests. Where it is exceedingly wet, cypress swamps are typical, until the sea of grass, the everglades, takes over in the southern half of Florida.

Much of the Southeast is wet and generally warm, giving refuge to a great many species of birds during winter months. But even in summer, the Southeast is a mecca for birdlife because its lush habitats produce an abundance of food, particularly insects, that adult birds require to raise young.

Backyard Birds

The common birds of the backyard in the Southeast include the Carolina wren, Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, northern cardinal, painted bunting, northern mockingbird, red-bellied woodpecker, brown-headed nuthatch, eastern screech-owl, mourning, white-winged and collared doves.

Regional Birds

In the southern Appalachian forests, the red-bellied woodpecker, Carolina chickadee, wood thrush, brown thrasher, and summer tanager are common. The southern mixed pine-oak forests are home to the Carolina wren, brown-headed nuthatch, indigo bunting, yellow-throated and pine warblers, yellow-breasted chat and blue grosbeak. In the cypress swamp, look for the pileated woodpecker, prothonotary and northern parula warblers, red-shouldered hawk, barred owl, wood duck and limpkin. In the everglades, the snowy, great and cattle egrets, sandhill crane, white ibis, wood stork, northern harrier, snail kite, and purple gallinule are typical.

What's happening in your backyard this month
  • Birds are feeding heavily, particularly before a storm.
  • Great horned owls are hooting and nesting; other owls are calling at night.
  • American goldfinches showing more yellow in winter plumages.
  • Northern cardinals are singing their what-cheer, what-cheer, birdie, birdie, birdie call.
What to do in your backyard this month
  • Fill feeders daily with fresh, dry foods; clean water in bird baths.
  • Offer American robins apples, raisins and berries during cold weather.
  • Make a plan for spring plantings of bird cover...trees, shrubs, vines and ground cover.
  • Repair and/or paint bird houses in anticipation of erecting them next month.
 

 

 

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