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Recreation

  • The most beautiful of songbirds
    The Wood Thrush has been one of my favorite songbirds since I was able to shinny up a tree with no limbs, and that has been awhile. I remember finding this bird about 15 to 20 feet above the ground, beside Bib Beech Creek, below Salem Baptist Church near Southville in Shelby County. I wondered what might be inside and thought it sort of resembled a smaller version of a robin’s nest.
  • These birds are green, but not with envy
    The family of Vireos only occurs in America, which is highly unusual, and this family haunts the higher portions of forests, where it diligently hunts for insects in bark crevices and under leaves. The Yellow-throated Vireo particularly loves to eat horseflies, mosquitoes, hairy caterpillars off their tents and gypsy and tussock moths. Even though similar-sized wood warblers also inhabit this same type of environment, vireos appearances are somewhat different. They are bigger-headed, thicker-billed and slower moving.
  • Baltimore Oriole is pure royalty
    The way that the Baltimore Oriole originally was named is extremely interesting within itself. It goes back a long way and is just one of many attributes to this beautiful, handsome, orange-and-black songbird.
  • This Swallow likes the hollows
    The entire family of swallows are all so graceful in flight, as they perform almost all of their duties, totally on the wing. A welcome factor along with their grace and beauty is they help rid your area of pesky, biting insects.
  • This is a Veery serious songbird
    An old Handbook of Birds of the Eastern United States, copyrighted in 1895 and written by the late Frank Chapman, a noted ornithologist of that time, said, “The Veery appeals to even higher feelings; all the wondrous mysteries of the woods find a voice in his song; he fills us with emotions we cannot express.”
  • This bird is the Least among its type
    The Least Tern is the smallest member of the tern family, at 9 inches long with a 20-inch wide wingspan. It is widely distributed along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in the summer. However, the Least Terns that hang out on the major rivers in the interior and in California are considered to be endangered. Because they nest on sand bars in these rivers, these birds are extremely susceptible to the fluctuation of the water levels. Of course, this can happen at any time and may come at a time when it is too late for another attempt at nesting.
  • Lots of ingredients in Ovenbird
    The Ovenbird is a ground-loving warbler, that walks or even struts on the forest floor, moving along with exaggerated steps, with its cocked tail flicked upward, while its head goes backward and forward as though it was tiptoeing, with its pretty pink feet. Its song has been translated to say "Teacher, Teacher, Teacher, TEACHER" with a special loud emphasis on the last teacher. Because of this, well-known song and the constant tail flicking, the Ovenbird is commonly called “Teacher” as well as “Wood Wagtail.”
  • The most handsome of the warblers
    The male Hooded Warbler could very well be the most handsome member of the warbler family. This bird is only 5-and-one-fourth inches long with a 7-and-a-half-inch wingspan, which is a similar size of most warblers except for the Yellow-breasted Chat, which is somewhat larger.
  • These birds are well-grounded
    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.
  • Coloring our world
    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.