• Wilson’s Phalarope, a rare shoreline visitor
    The Wilson’s Phalarope is rarely seen in spring and autumn west of the Cumberland Plateau although it has been seen in eastern Kentucky. They are seen along shorelines and mudflats of flooded fields and along lakes and rivers and have been seen as early as March 30 and as late as May 28 in the spring and as early as July 3 and as late as Sept. 28 in autumn.
  • Western Grebe was hunted for its feathers
  • Caspian Tern is a frequent visitor
    The Caspian Tern is a fairly common migratory bird through Kentucky except during the summer when it is rare. However June sightings in the Ohio River and the lake areas of western Kentucky seems to indicate that this species occasionally remains throughout the summer. Early spring sightings are March 30 and late autumn is Nov. 19.
  • Brown Pelicans seen near Kentucky dam
    The Brown Pelican is an Endangered Species and one of two pelican species in the United States.
  • Herring Gull: Not your average sea gull
    The Herring Gull is 25 inches long with a wingspan that is 58 inches wide and weighs 2.5 pounds and is a fairly common winter resident around the Falls of the Ohio in Jefferson County, as well as the lake region of western Kentucky. I also saw one that was in a rather large flock of migrating Ring-billed Gulls in Shelby County in March of 2014. They generally appear in our commonwealth by early October and are gone by mid-May.
  • Pectoral Sandpiper can linger in Kentucky
    The Pectoral Sandpiper is common in Kentucky during migration and occasionally lingers into early winter but is extremely rare in mid-winter and summer. However, they occur most often west of the Cumberland Plateau and sometimes pass through as early as March 4 and as late as Dec. 30. They are one of many shorebirds that migrate from the Arctic to the Antarctic and then back again.
  • The nocturnal Rough-legged hawk
    I have seen the Rough-legged Hawk locally many times in the winter. Even though it is 21 inches long, has a wingspan that is 53 inches wide and weighs 2.2 pounds, they have small feet. So whenever I see a large hawk sitting high in a tree on a very small branch, I give this bird special attention with my binoculars and quite often it will be a Rough-legged Hawk that has migrated down from the North Country. They also tend to hover a lot while hunting.
  • The large Ferruginous Hawk is more often found out west
    There have been two sightings in Kentucky, one on Dec. 28, 1979 and the other one was Dec. 29, 1985 and both of them were in Henderson. Their breeding range is from southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba down through Montana, Wyoming, the western Dakotas, southern Idaho, eastern Oregon on down into Nevada, Utah, Colorado and eastern Nebraska. The Ferruginous Hawk winters south of these areas on down halfway into Mexico.
  • White-Tailed Kite an accidental visitor
    The White-tailed Kite is a 15-inch bird with a 39-inch wingspan that weighs 12 ounces and has been seen one time in Kentucky on May 5, 1991 and is considered an accidental visitor. It is fairly common in California and Texas but seems to be expanding its range. They are the most common from Mexico south on down to South America to Nicaragua and central Chile.
  • Forster’s Tern finds homes near Kentucky’s lakes
    The Forster’s Tern migrates through Kentucky and has been seen as early as March 7 and as late as June 10 in the spring. It has even been seen on June 25 and June 29 in the summer with a late autumn date of Dec. 20.