• 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.
  • Well-hidden, this owl is difficult to find
    The Northern Saw-Whet Owl, what a name! It apparently came from early on bird observers who seemed to think that this little owl's mating call resembled the sound made by a saw being sharpened by a whetstone. Modern day ornithologists describe the song as being a repeated low, whistled toot such as “poo poo poo” or “toit toit toit.” In addition you might hear a wheezy, rising, catlike screech “shweeee,” a soft nasal bark “keew” or “pew” and a soft whining “eeeooi.”
  • A rare bird is becoming even more rate
    My first actual experience with the Black-billed Cuckoo was on Sept. 6, 1976, when I was able to discover the second nest of this species ever recorded in Kentucky. It contained four eggs and was 8 feet above the ground in the Lyon County portion of the 170,000-acre Land-Between-the-Lakes National Recreational Area in Western Kentucky.
  • A bird that stays on the move
    The Red-Breasted Nuthatch can move both up and down tree trunks, which is in contrast to woodpeckers, which only can move up a tree. The reason for this is because nuthatches use their strong legs and feet as a balancing act, but woodpeckers use their feet and then their tails as a brace to climb up the tree. The Red-Breasted Nuthatch’s call is an "ank," more abrupt, nasal and higher pitched than the "yank" that constitutes the call of the more common White-breasted Nuthatch.
  • This beauty battles a beast
    A more beautiful woodpecker than the Red-headed Woodpecker would be almost impossible to find, and even then, it would be a matter of opinion. The Red-headed Woodpecker has a bright red head and neck with conspicuous white inner wings and rump. The rest of the body is black, which can give off a slight bluish tinge in the bright sunlight, a coloration that certainly makes this bird a strong candidate for the most patriotic bird in America.
  • This bird’s future is hampered poisons.
    I had not seen or heard a Dickcissel in Shelby County since the early 1980s until the late spring of 2010. I was just north of Shelbyville on Ben Zaring's farm on the east side of Smithfield Road, searching for another species of bird, when I heard the telltale song that always gives this bird's location away. The Dickcissel sings out his name with his song of "dick-dick-cissel" that is repeated over and over again.