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Recreation

  • Eared Grebe goes through several changes
    The Eared Grebe is a 13-inch long bird with a 16-inch wingspan and weighs 11 ounces and is a rare spring, autumn, and winter migrant in Kentucky. The earliest it has been seen in autumn is Aug. 27 and the latest in the spring is June 4.
  • White Ibis helps renew its surroundings
    The White Ibis is an extremely rare summer visitor with only fourteen sightings from central to western Kentucky in July, August and September.
  • The handsome Brewer’s Blackbird
    The Brewer’s Blackbird is considered to be the most handsome of all the blackbirds. My photograph shows the violet-purple near the head and the yellow eye of this male Brewer’s Blackbird. It is a rare transient and extremely rare winter visitor in Kentucky. However, it has been seen in Bourbon, Boyle, Fayette, and Mercer County, south to Wayne County, and then toward western Kentucky in Fulton County.
  • Shy Black-bellied Plover is first to flee the shoreline
    The accompanying photograph is of a non-breeding adult, so the black belly feathers will not appear until the spring molt. This 11-and-a-half-inch bird with a 29-inch wingspan weighs 8 ounces and is a migrant in Kentucky. It is considered rare to uncommon in spring and autumn. In spring it has been seen from April 11 to June 19, while in autumn from July 22 to Nov. 29.
  • 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.