Sunday, November 13, 2016

American Coot 2016

Coots are dark-gray to black birds with a bright-white bill and forehead. The legs are yellow-green.
An awkward and often clumsy flier, the American Coot requires long running takeoffs to get airborne.
"Coots are seen at Falls Mills Lake (Tazewell Co., VA) in the fall and winter seasons. The numbers can be 300+ when migrating southward."

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Purple Finch 2016

The Purple Finch is the bird that Roger Tory Peterson famously described as a “sparrow dipped in raspberry juice.” For many of us, they’re irregular winter visitors to our feeders,
"With a new feeder from a fellow bird watcher (Roger Mayhorn) and an early influx of Purple Finches this year, I had eleven at my feeder today. With a close look, nine can be seen in the following photo. -October 29, 2016-"

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Burkes Garden Bird Species (September 2016)

Burkes Garden Bird Species (September 2016)
To view the list click the above link. Note: New species are added each year. Your help in this endeavor is greatly appreciated. The entries are logged into You can contact Clancey Deel at for any help that is needed.
The Map below shows the locations of "hotspots" for reporting birds in Burkes Garden.

Owl Pellets Identification 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawks roam the skies over treetops and grasslands.
During the day, they roost motionless on a tree branch, fencepost, or the ground and are very difficult to see.
It is active at dawn and dusk—nor closely related to hawks They are sometimes called "goatsuckers", due to the ancient folk tale that they sucked the milk from goats.
"Nighthawks were seen in Burkes Garden on August 31 (30), September 4 (6), September 5 (12), The Cove on September 6 (11) and Thompson Valley on September 7 (51)."

Sunday, August 7, 2016

American Redstart

A lively warbler that hops among tree branches in search of insects, the male American Redstart is coal-black with vivid orange patches on the sides, wings, and tail.
"Several Redstarts were seen in the Tazewell County area this year (2016). This one visited Richlands on Big Creek."

Friday, May 20, 2016

Short-billed Dowitcher

A medium to large shorebird with a long bill, the Short-billed Dowitcher is a common and conspicuous migrant that uses a "sewing-machine" method of foraging across the mud flats.
"12 Short-billed Dowitchers were located in Burkes Garden on May 15-17, 2016 (first record at this location)".

Friday, May 6, 2016

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Adult males are black-and-white birds with a brilliant red chevron extending from the black throat down the middle of the breast.
"Rose-breasted were seen in Burkes Garden on May 5, 2016".


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blue Grosbeak

A large, vibrantly blue bunting with an enormous silver bill and chestnut wingbars, the male Blue Grosbeak sings a rich, warbling song from trees and roadside wires.
"This Blue Grosbeak was seen in 'The Cove' on April 27, 2016".

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Northern Shoveler

Its elongated comblike spoon-shaped bill helps to strain food from water.
Male Breeding Plumage: Head dark glossy green. Bill black. Back black. Chest white. Flanks and belly chestnut-brown. Eyes yellow.
"Three pairs of Shovelers were seen in Burkes Garden, VA on April 1, 2016".

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bonaparte's Gull

The English name of the Bonaparte's Gull honors Charles Lucien Bonaparte, who made important contributions to American ornithology while an active member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia during the 1820s.
"Five Bonaparte's were seen in Burkes Garden on 3/19/16 (first recorded sighting for this location)".

Friday, March 4, 2016

Greater White-fronted Goose

Breeding across the tundra from Nunavut to Siberia, across Russia, and in Greenland, the Greater White-fronted Goose has one of the largest ranges of any species of goose in the world.
"Only two recorded sightings in Tazewell County."
Located at Richlands (in field behind Washington Square Clinic)

Located at Pisgah (in field across from Historic Crab Orchard Museum)

Monday, February 15, 2016

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrows are brown above and gray below with a striking head pattern
"Winter storm "Olympia" (2/15/16) brought several birds to the feeders. The White-throated is one of my favorite in the sparrow family".

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Eastern Towhee

Males are striking: bold sooty black above and on the breast, with warm rufous sides and white on the belly.
"During the Greater Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) of 2016, three towhee visited my feeders".

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrows spend a lot of time on the ground, using their sturdy legs to kick away leaf litter in search of insects and seeds.
Fox Sparrows are named for the rich red hues that many Fox Sparrows wear.
"Winter storm "Jonas" brought a special guest to my feeders. With food hard to find in the snow, I place bird seeds on the ground for them."

Friday, January 22, 2016

Red-bellied Woodpeckers

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are pale, medium-sized woodpeckers common in forests of the East. Their strikingly barred backs and gleaming red caps make them an unforgettable sight – just resist the temptation to call them Red-headed Woodpeckers.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Common Raven

The Common Raven is an acrobatic flier, often doing rolls and somersaults in the air. One bird was seen flying upside down for more than a half-mile.
Ravens are among the smartest of all birds, gaining a reputation for solving ever more complicated problems invented by ever more creative scientists.
Edgar Allan Poe clearly found them a little creepy. The captive ravens at the Tower of London are beloved and perhaps a little feared: legend has it that if they ever leave the tower, the British Empire will crumble. Native people of the Pacific Northwest regard the raven as an incurable trickster, bringing fire to people by stealing it from the sun, and stealing salmon only to drop them in rivers all over the world.
Common Ravens can mimic the calls of other bird species. When raised in captivity, they can even imitate human words; one Common Raven raised from birth was taught to mimic the word “nevermore.”

"This pair with the help of "close friends" were seen harassing a Golden Eagle in Burkes Garden (2015). Getting a good photo takes patience and luck. After nearly two years, I found the pair preoccupied with getting food that allowed me to take a couple of photos."