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Recreation

  • Sandhill Crane migrates through in early, late winter
    The Sandhill Crane is 41-to-46 inches with a wingspan of 73-to-77 inches wide and weighs 7.3-10.6 pounds. They are usually seen migrating south in long V-shaped flocks from around Thanksgiving until around the first of January and then back north again in early February until early March.
  • Semipalmated Plover stops by on its way to a way to the coast
    The Semipalmated Plover is an uncommon to fairly common migrant through Kentucky, but is very rare in the summer.
  • On the brink of extinction, Willet still stops in Kentucky
    This 15-inch bird with a 26-inch wingspan weighs 8 ounces, walks elegantly along coastal beaches in the winter months and stands tall with a stiff gait. It is a large proportioned shorebird with a long and thick bill. The accompanying photograph of a Willet shows the bird in non-breeding plumage and its flashy black and white wings are never noticeable until the bird breaks into flight.
  • Little Blue Heron has 40-foot wingspan
    The Little Blue Heron is a 24-foot bird with a 40-foot wingspan and is about half the size of a Great Blue Heron. This bird is an endangered species in Kentucky and is pretty much confined to the Falls-of-the-Ohio River and in far Western Kentucky on Lake Barkley and in the Mississippi/Lower Ohio River areas.
  • A favorite of falconers, the Harris Hawk frequents Kentucky
    This bird is one of the most beautiful and most interesting species of the hawk family. Its hunting technique is so very unique from other hawks in that the Harris’s Hawk hunts in groups or packs, similar to wolves. This method allows them to bring down prey as large as jackrabbits. This 20-inch hawk has a 42-inch wide wingspan and there have been several sightings in Kentucky.
  • Rarely seen Painted Bunting is a hidden beauty
    The Painted Bunting is certainly one of the most beautiful birds in North America. The adult male is blue, green and red, however lighting and foliage can obscure the bright colors and patterns as it has in my photograph. It also appears that the male carries this beautiful plumage, all year long. The adult female is a bright green, which also sets her apart. This bird is 5-and-a-half inches long and has an 8-and-three-quarters inch wingspan.
  • White-winged Crossbill a rare Kentucky visitor
    The White-Winged Crossbill is a 6-and-a-half inch bird with a 10-and-a-half-inch wingspan and weighs 0.9 ounces. It breeds throughout Canada and the lower two thirds of Alaska on down the northwestern mountains to northern Idaho, northwest Washington, northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and New England. They usually winter in the northern states, but can wander on down to Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Virginia.
  • White-Crowned Sparrow always has plans a quick for a quick exit
    The White-Crowned Sparrow is a common winter resident throughout Kentucky and is often found in fairly large flocks, but it is not real common in the heavily forested eastern portions of the commonwealth. They are frequently seen in semi open habitats where there are lots of weedy fencerows and also they congregate at bird feeders that are on the ground and filled with mixed birdseed. The White-Crowned Sparrow usually feeds on the ground, near cover, so they can make a quick get away.
  • The Wood Stork ranges though much of the U.S.
    The Wood Stork differs from herons and ibises in that it is heavier, has a slightly decurved beak, has a bare head and neck and has a total lack of ornamental plumes. Even though this bird was once known as Wood Ibis, it is the only member of the stork family in America and is actually a very close relative to vultures.
  • Snow Goose frequents western area of state
    The Snow Goose breeds on the Arctic Tundra. It forms medium to large flocks in the winter as it frequents marshes, shores of lakes, and stubble fields. This species appears to be increasing rapidly, probably due to the availability of suitable winter habitat, in agricultural areas. This 28-to 31-inch bird with a 53-to 56-inch wide wingspan weighs between 5.3 to 7.5 pounds and comes in two color phases, as indicated by the accompanying photograph.