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Birds & Birding Regional Birder

This is regional birding information for:

Southeast
October 2014

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
  • Mockingbirds becoming more defensive as they establishing winter feeding grounds.
  • Cedar waxwings, American robins and northern cardinals feeding on mountain ash berries and other tree fruits.
  • First season sightings of yellow-rumped, pine and prairie warblers eating suet cake at feeders.
  • American goldfinches dressed in winter plumages of drab olive-brown feathers.
What to do in your backyard this month
  • Create brush piles with fall clippings for ground feeding birds; plant evergreens and other hardy cover plants.
  • Increase suet cake offerings for wintering warblers, wrens and thrushes.
  • Maintain sugar water feeders as the last of the ruby-throated hummingbirds pass through en route to the tropics.
  • Protect feeders from squirrels and other four-legged pests with baffles and domes.
 

 

 

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