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Recreation

  • A friend to farmers and gardeners
    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 bird that needs your protection
    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.
  • A most worldly bird
    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.
  • This is one mean little bird
    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.
  • A bird that is difficult to find
    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.
  • A most magnificent species
    The range of the Golden Eagle covers more than half of the land in the world. This species inhabits the western and northern United States, eastern Canada, parts of Europe, east through much of central and northern Asia and even portions of Africa. Its territories may be as large as 80 square miles, which issimilar size of a medium-sized city.
  • A ghostly figure before Halloween
    The Long-eared Owl is very nocturnal in nature, and along with its habit of spending the day in extremely thick foliaged evergreens, an almost ghost owl has been created. However, I am of the opinion, these habits are why so little is known about this species. The Long-eared Owl's breeding status in Kentucky is Endangered, because they have only been found nesting in Muhlenberg County.
  • A big bird you will recognize
    The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the larger woodpeckers in the world and the largest that is commonly seen in Kentucky. This bird is 16.6 inches long and has a 29-inch wing span. You can see it in dense woods or in more open areas surrounding those woods. The Pileated Woodpecker species with a high red-streaked crest has served as a role model for the famous cartoon character Woody Woodpecker.
  • This bird legs it out
    This bird isn’t really walking on stilts. It just looks like it. The Black-necked Stilt is elongated in every way, with long thin legs that actually measure 8 to 10 inches, a long neck, long narrow wings and a long, very thin beak. This bird actually stands 14 inches tall and has a 29-inch wing span, and in flight its long, trailing legs are very noticeable. You recognize its males for being black on top and white underneath, with red legs. The female is very similar except she has dark brown on her back from her neck back to her tail.
  • A messy, overbearing fish-catcher
    The Double-crested Cormorant is the only one of its species that inhabits fresh water. It is very common on the coast as well as on large bodies of water. It breeds from Newfoundland, northern Ontario, central Saskatchewan and the Alaska Peninsula south to the Bahamas, Isle of Pines and southern California, and it has been nesting in Kentucky since 2002, in Calloway County on southern Kentucky Lake in a small colony with herons.