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Birds & Birding Regional Birder

This is regional birding information for:

Southeast
January 2015

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
  • Peak of winter bird feeding season; greatest number and varieties of winter birds are present.
  • Owls are singing: great horned and barred owls are hooting; screech-owls are whinnying.
  • Sign of spring as northern cardinals begin to sing; American goldfinches show spots of yellow.
  • As storms approach, birds feed more heavily in anticipation of severe weather.
What to do in your backyard this month
  • Feed suet to maintain birds' high energy.
  • Collect discarded Christmas trees to create instant cover for birds.
  • Put up one bird house for birds to roost in during cold weather.
  • Keep feeders filled; offer a variety of food in different feeder types and locations.
 

 

 

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