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Birds & Birding Regional Birder

This is regional birding information for:

Southeast
December 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
  • Resident birds are most active at feeders and baths early morning and late afternoon.
  • Painted buntings are at seed feeders; males are red, blue and green; females bright green.
  • Feeder birds hitting windows in their panic from Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawk attacks.
  • Influx of birds from the North, many of which are attracted to bird baths, not feeders.
What to do in your backyard this month
  • Decorate a Christmas tree for the birds with bird foods as ornaments.
  • Look for a pine siskin and pine and yellow-rumped warbler invasions from the North.
  • Maintain various kinds of bird feeders with different foods to increase bird numbers.
  • Place discarded family Christmas trees near feeders to create instant cover for birds.
 

 

 

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