Friday, May 20, 2011

Parking Lot Birding

Parking lot birding?  If you are talking about acres of paved parking, you can expect Laughing Gulls and House Sparrows, but we're referring to the parking area at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest.  During lunch breaks at one of several picnic tables under the trees in the parking area, we are always pleased with the abundance and variety of birds.

Using the map as a reference, we have listed some of what we typically see or hear at points within the parking area.

Near the nature center, Summer Tanagers (Piranga rubra) can be seen and heard, including at their nest just beyond the entrance ramp.  In the past, Carolina Wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus) have nested in the cigarette disposal container right by the front door!  This morning a Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) was calling over the building.  Previously, we have reported the many species of birds seen out our office window.

Yesterday, while eating lunch near #3 on the image, we observed the Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo lineatus) and discovered the nest with at least one chick.  Today, while observing the nest, we saw two Swallow-tailed Kites soar over and saw or heard the following birds: Wood Ducks, Tufted Titmouse, Red-eyed Vireo, Common Yellowthroat, Red-shouldered Hawk, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Acadian Flycatcher, Great-crested Flycatcher, American Crow, Prothonotary Warbler, Northern Cardinal, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Yellow-throated Vireo, Downy Woodpecker, and Pileated Woodpecker.

At the edge of the power line corridor, we have previously reported a Muscovy Duck, Wood Ducks, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Hawk, Indigo Bunting, and Blue Grosbeak.

At the other side of the parking area near #2, the wet areas Great Egrets, but mainly Northern Parula, Red-eyed Vireo, Prothonotary Warbler, Red-shouldered Hawk, Black-and-white Warblers, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Summer Tanager, Carolina Wren, Tufted Titmouse, Blue-headed Vireo, Hooded Warbler, Northern Cardinal, American Redstart, Black-throated Blue Warbler, and Wild Turkey.

This is not a complete list, but you should get the idea.  You don't need to get far from your car to have a wonderful birding experience!

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