Bird of Winter: Northern Cardinal
Nancy Jones recalls: "When I was a young girl, I found a male cardinal with a broken wing. He had been engaged in a territorial battle with another male cardinal and was the loser in this fray. I picked him up and was quickly attacked with a very strong beak, I popped him into a small bird cage and took him to the vet. The doctor taped the bird's wing to his side and I took him home and kept him for several weeks. He would readily eat wild bird seed and took water from a small cup. It was so thrilling to untape his wing after his confinement and have him fly away".
*Not all wild animal rescue stories have a happy ending. Sometimes people interfere with an animal that doesn't need to be rescued at all but just left alone. If you find an animal you think needs help, contact the experts at AWARE animal rescue.
Brown-headed Nuthatches Need Your Help
Neighbor and Volunteer Tom Taylor has been maintaining our bluebird boxes. Some of them will be modified to accommodate the Brown-headed Nuthatch. AAS has listed these birds on the watch list for declining habitat due to climate change. [READ MORE]
Tom tells us:
"Brownies only lay one nest a year with 5 to 9 eggs. Brownies like pine forests. They like soft nests, so I put some Boy Scout fire starter pine straw in them. This pine straw is really soft, so it may be a good start for them. If Brownies take to the nest, they may use it year-round. We shall see what happens."
How can you get involved? Order a nest box through Atlanta Audubon - currently, they are taking orders for nest boxes. Simply contact Dottie Head at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email address, phone number, and number of boxes you are interested in purchasing. Boxes will be $35 each including educational information. Dottie will contact you as soon as the boxes become available on a first come, first served basis.
If you prefer a do-It-yourself solution, you can build your own using these plans from their website.
NestWatch Bird Tracking
On July 28 2014, Blue Heron Nature Preserve partnered with Atlanta Audubon to band birds as part of the NestWatch program sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution.
Very fine nets were strung in the Preserve at 6:30am to capture birds to be banded. In total, we caught 6 birds: 3 carolina wrens and 3 american robins. BH and AAS volunteers gathered to host Allie from the Smithsonian as we captured birds and recorded data. We hope these studies will provide information about urban birds such as: human impact, global warming, etc.
It was a wonderful, intimate experience with birds and we all enjoyed it (except the birds)!
10 Avian Species Common to the Preserve:
Great Blue Heron
Welcome to all "Birders"!
If you are an avid bird watcher or just an amateur, our birding page has offerings just for you! Check this page for recent sightings, our bird of the month and links for adults and children.
We received an email from Gary Suters last week during the bitterly cold weather we have had. She has seen a hummingbird at her feeder, when they should have migrated already. This occured last year as well. Here's her story:
"This year I have identified this Hummer: he is an immature male "Black Chinned". He was hard to identify, he has a black spot on the underside of his neck! Your e-mail which was sent to me said to call the Non-game Conservation Station (phone 476-994-1438), which I did. They, in turn, told me to call Terry Johnson (478-994-2568). Mr. Johnson is an expert on Hummingbirds. He is so nice and spent a long time talking about his "specialty". He is VERY knowledgeable about the subject!
Terry lives in Forsyth and gave me permission to give you his contact information. I think he would be a good person to call on if you ever had hummingbird questions (he said he bands the little birds). Here is the link to the conservation center and some of his own literature."
Some info. on wintering hummingbirds from the Georgia DNR website can be found HERE.
To report wintering hummingbird sightings in Georgia, please contact the Nongame Conservation Section office in Forsyth at (478) 994-1438 or write to: Wintering Hummingbirds, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Nongame Conservation Section, 116 Rum Creek Drive, Forsyth, GA 31029.
"So far, sadly, I have not seen my Black Chinned. He was so healthy when I saw him last, he really drank a lot of sugar water so maybe he is OK and I have just missed seeing him. I will let you know if I see him again.
Note the immature black chinned hummer with dark spot on neck. Mr Johnson said the Black chinned's wings are longer than other hummer's wings and indeed, from the picture, they ARE very long!"
Do you have photos to share?
Throughout the year a variety of birds either make BHNP their home or refresh themselves during migrations. We will be sharing sightings of species and/or photos sent in by neighbors and birders.
On Sunday (11/10/13), we had lots of aquatic visitors at Blue Heron including a beautiful family of geese and mallards.
Some of the birds were having a wonderful Sunday snooze on one of the pond's small islands in the sunshine.
"This Cooper's Hawk nearly landed on my 4th Floor balcony!" Photo by Gail Fore
We invite you to submit your stories and/or images of birds (on or off the preserve) to our webmaster for inclusion on this page. Please include the species name, date and time of day sighted and location. Images can be provided in any format or size.
Hot news of the day at Blue Heron! We had 5 migratory blue wing teal ducks here today (3/29/13) on the Roswell Road pond. Barbara, who is an Audubon birder, identified them and said they have probably stopped off on their way north for the summer.
Blue Heron Resident
Here is a recent blue heron photo at our pond, courtesy of Libba Shortridge.
Blue Heron Feather??
This photo is (we think) a blue heron feather found floating in our pond on Saturday, 6/9/12. Jamie Hawk at Atlanta Audubon seemed to concur that it is most likely a primary flight feather from a Great Blue Heron.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology currently has a live feed of a blue heron nest at: www.allaboutbirds.org/cornellherons. Very cool!!
Documents and Links of Interest
Data About Birds
Kids Interested In Birding
Sightings of Uncommon Birds