The Bank Swallow, at 5 1/4 inches long, with a 13-inch wide wingspan, is the smallest member of the swallow family. It has a very slim build from head to tail but has a well-defined, distinct breast band, which is emphasized by a white throat.
At first glance the male Yellow Warbler is the only bird in America that has an all-yellow appearance.
But closer scrutiny reveals a slight greenish tinge to its back wings and tail as well as a red streaked breast. The female is similar, without the red streaks, and they both have black beaks and short tails.
After wintering from southern Mexico to Peru and east to Guiana and Brazil, these birds arrive in Kentucky in late April and become common summer residents throughout the commonwealth, except in the higher elevations of the Cumberland Mountains.
The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest, most numerous, most widespread and tamest of all woodpeckers and is a year-round resident of our commonwealth.
Sexes are similar except the male has a red spot on the back of the head, which is lacking in the female.
The Brown Creeper is certainly one of the most inconspicuous birds in the bird kingdom.
For any of you that have forested habitat, this 5-1/4 inch long bird with a 7-3/4 inch wide wingspan, probably is hanging out with many of your small flocks of chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, and woodpeckers, especially in the winter months.
You just are not seeing them because of their coloration and feeding habits.
When you see a 5-and-a-half-inch long bird with an 8-inch wingspan that is a deep ultra marine blue with a slightly larger head, in all likelihood you have sighted the beautiful male Indigo Bunting.
Not to be confused with the slightly larger male Eastern Bluebird or male Blue Grosbeak or the much larger Blue Jay, all of which also display other colors along with their blues.
A recent 40-year study, by the National Audubon Society, indicates that the Field Sparrow is the No. 9 declining bird species in North America, with its population numbers down by 68 percent.
Because of this alarming information, any of you who may have land on which you constantly spend money, time, and effort mowing and maintaining Fescue grass – for no better reason than because you are of the opinion that it looks good – I want to encourage you to think seriously about an alternative.
The Barn Swallow has the distinction of being largely responsible for the founding of the first Audubon Society.
The late, great George Bird Grinnell, then editor of Forest and Stream, displayed such indignation at the waste of birdlife when Barn Swallows were being killed by the thousands just to make ornaments for women's hats, that he wrote a vigorous editorial in 1886 against such unnecessary slaughter. This almost immediately led to the founding of the Audubon Society.
If there was ever a bird properly named, the Kingbird fits the bill.
This bird is absolutely fearless, when it comes to protecting its nest area. Although, the Red-winged Blackbird, the Common Grackle, and the Purple Martin all will frequently give chase to crows, hawks and vultures near their nests, none are quite as pugnacious and as dedicated as the Eastern Kingbird.
The Snowy Egret in Kentucky, along with its larger relative, the Great Egret, has a state status as endangered species.
The word regret might be better used as the former name for these two species. However, in the early 1900s, the murder of a warden in Florida, who was trying to protect these birds, the formation of the National Audubon Society and the uproar of nature lovers, saved egrets from ultimate extinction.