Final Report of the Bird Inventory:

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, 2003–2005 *

 

Stephen J. Stedman, Ph. D. 1

Barbara H. Stedman 2

 

 

 

1 Department of English and Communications
Box 5053
Tennessee Technological University
Cookeville, TN 38505

sstedman@tntech.edu

2 2675 Lakeland Dr.
Cookeville, TN 38506

birdsongteam@charter.net

 

* Note that some elements of this report have been changed from the original to generalize the locations of certain "sensitive" species.

 

Table of Contents

List of Tables......................................................................................................................................................….........iii

List of Figures…………………………..……………………......................................................……………...……..iv

Acknowledgments......................................................................................................................................................…v

Executive Summary……………………………………………………………...................................................…….vi

Introduction...........................…......................................................................................................................................

Description of Study Site.......…....................….............................…....................................................................…....

Methods—Bird Inventory Techniques......................................................................................................................….

Results...............................……......................................................................................................................................   

Expected Species List.............……..........…...............................................................................................................

Total Species Inventoried……………………………................................................…………………………………

Breeding Species Inventoried……………………..................................................…………………………………….

Wintering Species Inventoried……………………................................................……………………………………

Species Composition of the Isolated Units.....……..................................................................................................….

Discussion.........................................................................................................................................................…........….

Comparative Effectiveness of Survey Techniques..............…..............................................................…….............….

Influence of Weather on Results……………………………….....................................................………………………

Description of Bird Diversity in Terms of Estimated and Observed Species Richness……………………………

Unexpected Results……………………………….....................................................…………………………………...

Birds Not Found…………………………………......................................................……………………………………..

Recommendations for Management and Protection of Significant Habitats……......................................................

Suitability of Habitat for Persistence of Sensitive Species……………..............................................................……..….

Literature Cited....................................................................................................................................…...............................

Appendix A: Tables…………………………………...........................................................………………………………..

Appendix A: Figures…………………………………………............................................................……………………….

ii


List of Tables

Table 1.  Species, status, and seasonal abundance of birds observed in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (BISO)…………................................................................................................................................................………..……

Table 2. Results of point counts conducted at 36 stops (10 minutes each) in the BISO during the summers of 2003 and 2004…………………………......…………....................................................................………..……..........................................

Table 3. Results of 100-stop roadside breeding bird surveys conducted in the BISO during the summers of 2003 and 2004…………………………………….....................................................................………..…….............................................

Table 4. Results of walking transects conducted in the BISO during winter 2003-2004…………………………………

Table 5. Results of walking transects conducted in the BISO during winter 2004-2005…………………………………

List of Figures

Figure 1. Photograph of Red-breasted Nuthatch at Entrance to Cavity Containing the First Nest Discovered in BISO and on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, Taken 9 June 2003 (S. J. Stedman)……………………………………….…...Cover

Figure 2. Locator map of BISO featuring locations of plots for point counts conducted during summers of 2003 and 2004…………………….....................................................................................................................................………………..2

Figure 3. Photograph of a primary from Red-headed Woodpecker found 4 June 2003 (S. J. Stedman…...…Appendix A

 

Figure 4. Photograph of a nest of Acadian Flycatcher found 3 June 2003 (S. J. Stedman)……...…….........….Appendix A

iv

Acknowledgments

Leslie Morgan-Smith in the Resource Management Office of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area provided considerable logistical support for this inventory; we offer many thanks to her for this effort.

We are greatly indebted to the staff of the Center for the Management, Utilization, and Protection of Water Resources at Tennessee Technological University for high quality management of the fiscal paperwork associated with this bird inventory.  Director Dennis George, Sandra Pigg, Yvette Clark, Amy Knox, and especially Glenda Sharks and Mary Williford, contributed much to our success.

Finally, we thank Robert Emmott and Nora Murdock, Appalachian Highlands Inventory and Monitoring Network, National Park Service, for their support during the time the inventory was conducted; Patrick Flaherty is also thanked for contributing the locator map in this report.

v

 

Executive Summary

       Field work to inventory the birds of the BISO during the summers of 2003 and 2004, as well as the winters of 2003-2004 and 2004-2005, resulted in detection of 111 species, approximately 79% of the number (140) that might maximally be present in the park during two summers and two winters.  Field work consisted of highly structured inventory methods—in particular, point counts conducted at 36 sites selected for habitat diversity and roadside surveys conducted at 100 points along park thoroughfares—and less structured methods designed to detect the maximum number of species possible during the inventory seasons—including night surveys and walking transects. 

Weather conditions during the seasons when the inventory was conducted were generally conducive to obtaining good to excellent results from the field work conducted.  It should especially be noted that weather conditions experienced during 2003 and 2004 appeared to affect the mast crop in the park differentially, with a good mast crop being produced for the winter of 2003-2004 and a poor one being produced for the winter of 2004-2005.  The different quantity and quality of mast present during these winters resulted in different population numbers of many species found in the park during winter.  The high degree of variability in the wintering avifauna population numbers in the park differs markedly from the fairly consistent avifauna population numbers found during summer (and during spring and fall migrations).

Changes in the park’s forests resulting from an outbreak of pine beetles have perhaps degraded those forests sufficiently to discourage the presence of as many wintering Northern Saw-whet Owls as occurred prior to the beetle outbreak.  Cerulean Warbler numbers in the park have undergone a reduction since the mid-1990s, but the causes of this reduction are not certain.  The population of Swainson’s Warbler in the park appears stable.

vi

 

 

Final Report of Bird Inventory: Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, 2003-2005

 

Introduction

            The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (BISO)--recommended in 2005 to be an Important Bird Area in Tennessee under the auspices of Partners in Flight--is located in north-central Tennessee and south-central Kentucky.  Established in 1974, the park protects the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River, its major tributaries (Clear Fork and the New River), as well as many smaller tributaries, and lands on the adjacent Cumberland Plateau.  The purpose of this study was to

 

Description of Study Site

The BISO is located in five counties: McCreary County, Kentucky; and Fentress, Morgan, Pickett, and Scott counties, Tennessee (Figure 2). The park comprises about 125,000 acres of which about 100,000 are currently under federal

 

 

 

Figure 2. Locator map of BISO featuring locations of plots for point counts conducted during summers of 2003 and 2004.

 

control.  The park’s northernmost boundary lies in the vicinity of Whitley City, Kentucky, while its southernmost boundary is located near Rugby, Tennessee; the distance between these sites is about 50 mi.  The park is narrower east to west, being about 20-25 miles wide at its widest latitude; the towns of Jamestown, in Fentress County, Tennessee, and Oneida, in Scott County, Tennessee, lie west and east of the park, respectively.  A variety of sites in the park have been studied for their bird populations; these sites are described in moderate detail by Stedman and Stedman (2002).

The park contains a variety of habitats, ranging from riparian forest along the shores of the park’s rivers, to white pine-hemlock forests along the lower slopes of the gorge, to mixed mesophytic forest along lower and mid-slopes of the gorge, and, finally, to various deciduous and mixed forest types on the rim of the gorge and on the adjacent flatter lands of the Cumberland Plateau.  Each forest habitat in the park supports a distinct bird community.  Interspersed throughout the forests of the park, especially on flatter areas of the plateau, are many fields and forest openings, most of which date to the time prior to the establishment of the park when numerous small farms and communities dotted the landscape.  The fields and openings of the park offer a wide range of habitats to birds, including mowed grass fields, native grass fields, cultivated fields, and fields that have grown up to the shrub-scrub stage or even young second growth.  Almost all fields in the park are smaller than 25 hectares, affording little opportunity, because of their small size, for grassland obligate bird species to breed or perhaps even to overwinter successfully in the fields of the park. However, the fields in the shrub-scrub stage are large enough to provide important breeding sites for species adapted to that habitat.

The rivers of the park, although harboring an extensive fish fauna, as well as various mussels and macro-invertebrates of conservation importance, harbor an extremely limited number of breeding or wintering bird species adapted to aquatic habitats.  Probably their primary importance to the birdlife of park is to provide insect prey for a number of passerines that breed in the riparian zone adjacent to the rivers; of secondary importance is the ability of the rivers and streams of the park to function as brief stopover sites for small numbers of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds.

Methods--Bird Inventory Techniques

            Point counts were the most regimented method of collecting bird data at this NPS unit.  Thirty-six point counts were conducted during late May and June in each of two years (2003 and 2004).  Twelve of the point counts were situated in the Kentucky portion of the park, while twenty-four were situated in Tennessee portion. The protocol for these counts entailed standing at the center of a 100-meter diameter plot and counting all birds heard and seen for 10 minutes; birds were recorded as occurring at one of four distance intervals (< 25 m; 25-50 m; 50-100 m; and >100 m) or as flyovers; birds were also recorded as occurring within one of three temporal intervals (0-3 min; 3-5 min; 5-10 min) (Hamel 1992; Hamel et al. 1996).  Any birds flushed during approach to the plot center were included among the birds recorded at the point.  Birds counted at a one point were not counted if the same individuals were also detected at an adjacent point.  All birds seen or heard were recorded on a special point count data form.  All point count data are provided in a supplemental Excel file included with this report.  In addition, a description of the locations of plots used for point counts is also provided in a supplemental Word file included with this report, and a completed vegetation analysis form is provided for each of the plots.

The plots used for point counts were selected in a nonrandom manner, with six plots being sited (Appendix A: Figure 3) in each of six different habitat types found in the park, these being 1) grassland/shrub-scrub, 2) riparian, 3) mesic hardwood, 4) hemlock/white pine, 5) pine-hardwood, and 6) dry hardwood.  Difficulty in locating the randomly sited NatureServe plots prevented the NatureServe plots from being used as plots for point counts, although several plots actually used for point counts were located within 100 m of NatureServe plots.  The 36 plots used for point counts were located in such a manner as to allow four to seven of them to be conducted in a morning; within each group of four to seven plots, the individual plots were located at least 250 m apart, but usually somewhat farther, sometimes up to 2 km.  The general locations of the groups of plots were in Kentucky--Yahoo Falls (4), Bear Creek (4), and Blue Heron (4); and in Tennessee--Burnt Mill Bridge (7), Leatherwood Ford (4), Bandy Creek (3), Station Camp (5), and Divide and Fork Ridge roads (5).  Vegetation sheets were completed for each of the 36 point count plots; these will be mailed to NPS personnel.  Some of the plots selected for point counts were located along the same route that was followed by a breeding bird survey (see next paragraph), but in no case was a point count plot located at exactly the same site as a BBS stop although in several cases the 100-m circle of a point count plot included a BBS stop within it. Vegetation datasheets were prepared for each plot.

            A second method for collecting bird data, closely related to the point count, is the roadside breeding bird survey, four of which were conducted during each summer of the inventory.  Each roadside breeding bird survey consisted of 24-26 stops; collectively, the four routes totaled 100 stops.  The protocol for conducting roadside breeding bird surveys (Robbins et al. 1986) is quite similar to the protocol for point counts except that birds are counted for five minutes, rather than 10 minutes, at each stop; additionally, there are but two distance intervals for roadside breeding bird surveys (> 50 m; < 50 m), rather than four; the BBS routes conducted in the BISO actually differ from standard BBS routes in these two respects, because standard BBS routes have three-minutes stops where all birds are counted at one distance interval, that being 0.25 mi for birds seen and unlimited distance for birds heard.  One of the roadside breeding bird surveys conducted in the BISO lies in Kentucky; the remaining three lie in Tennessee.  Habitat diversity among the 100 roadside surveys is lower than habitat diversity among the 36 point count plots.

            A third method of collecting bird data involved walking transects.  During summer 2003 thirteen such transects were conducted (data from them being provided in a supplemental Excel file), while during the winter of 2003-2004 and the winter of 2004-2005 seven such transects were conducted, with each group of seven transects covering the same 65 km (40.5 mi) of park trails (mainly) and gravel roads (briefly).  The following transects were walked at 1.5-2 km/hour during each winter of the inventory period: Burnt Mill Bridge Loop Trail; Honey Creek Loop Trail; Twin Arches Loop Trail; No Business Creek Loop Transect (not an official loop trail); John Muir Trail from Station Camp to Leatherwood Ford; Bear Creek/Huling Branch Loop Transect (not an official loop trail); and Yahoo Arch Loop Trail (just the portion in the BISO).  All birds heard and seen at any distance were recorded on a field card during the walking transects.  Data from the summer walking transects are provided in a supplemental Excel file submitted with this report; data from winter walking transects are also provided in supplemental Excel files, but data from these transects are also supplied below (Appendix A: Tables 4 and 5).

            A fourth method of gathering bird data in this park was the night survey, a somewhat informal method entailing the use of tape-recorded owl calls to elicit responses from owls.  Woodcocks, owls, and nightjars were detected during night surveys conducted in the summer, while woodcocks and owls were detected by night surveys during winter. All species seen or heard were recorded on a standard field card, usually in conjunction with data obtained using the following method. Data from night surveys were generally lumped with data obtained using the next method of obtaining bird data.

            The fifth and last method of obtaining bird data in this park was the general inventory, involving less regimented efforts to visit many promising habitats within this NPS unit during the course of a day and to keep track of all species sighted.  During the breeding period for birds, which includes much of the spring, all of the summer, and a portion of the early fall, the general inventory included efforts to detect breeding evidence of for all species breeding in the unit.  All species seen or heard and all breeding evidence observed were recorded on a standard field card during general inventory efforts (the data from general inventory lists are provided in separate Excel files included with this report).

Results

Expected Species List

             About 180 species of birds have been recorded within the boundaries of the BISO (Stedman and Stedman 2002; S. Stedman and B. Stedman pers. data; see Appendix A: Table 1 for a complete list of these species).  These species were detected as a result of field work conducted in the park since its inception.  A large number of individuals have collected bird data in the park, but the efforts of D. and M. Bickford and S. Stedman outweigh all others.  The Bickfords birded the park for six years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, compiling a list of about 130 species that is on file with the park.  S. Stedman began volunteer field work in the park in 1993 and continued to conduct field work there through the period of the bird inventory, making about 350 trips to the park in the course of 12 years; Stedman walked most of the hiking trails in the park during that time, some of them many times, collecting data about the birds of the park during all hiking trips.  As a result of the work of the Bickfords and Stedman, all of the common expected species using the park during summer and winter have been recorded, though additional field work in the future is sure to turn up uncommon to rare species on a regular basis, since the avifauna of any site like the BISO is always changing.

Of the 180 species recorded in the park, about 40 are strictly transients (Appendix A: Table 1), not usually expected to occur during either summer or winter months, leaving about 140 species expected to occur during those seasons. 

Total Species Inventoried

During the periods of the bird inventory (May-July 2003; December 2003-February 2004, May-June 2004; and December 2004-February 2005), S. Stedman made 54 visits to the unit--36 during summer and 18 during winter.  In the course of these visits he observed 114 species by one or more of the methods described above (these species are bold-faced in Appendix A: Table 1); furthermore, he learned about a sighting of one additional species (Pine Siskin) from a visitor (Roseanna M. Denton) to the park.  Four species recorded during the inventory were transient species—Double-crested Cormorant, Sandhill Crane, Swainson’s Thrush, and Mourning Warbler—but the remaining 111 species were permanent residents, breeding species, and wintering species.  The total of 111 non-transient species detected during the two-year inventory represents 79% of the 140 species that may reasonably be expected to occur within the park during two summers and two winters. 

Breeding Species Inventoried

            Evidence of breeding by species occurring in the unit was divided into three categories: possible evidence; probable evidence; and confirmed evidence. In all, 96 species (Appendix A: Table 1) were placed in one of these categories, including 19 (19.8 %) possible breeders, 24 (25.0 %) probable breeders, and 53 (55.2 %) confirmed breeders.  Considerable breeding evidence used to place species in one of the three breeding categories was obtained prior to the start of the inventory during the time from 1993 to 2003 when S. Stedman was visiting the park on a regular basis, but for a fair number of species, evidence secured during the inventory was used either to place a species in a higher breeding category or to place a species in one of the breeding categories for the first time.

            Point counts were conducted during the breeding period of many species. A total of 59 species was registered during point counts conducted during 2003, while 61 species were detected during point counts conducted in 2004.  In all, the point count effort led to data for 68 species of birds, all of which may be considered to use BISO during the breeding season (Appendix A: Table 2). Detailed data from the point counts are provided in a supplemental Excel file submitted in conjunction with this report.

            Roadside breeding bird surveys were also conducted during the breeding period of many species.  A total of 58 species was registered during roadside breeding bird surveys conducted during 2003, while 62 species were detected during roadside breeding bird surveys in 2004.  In all, the roadside breeding bird effort led to data for 66 species, all of which may be considered to use the BISO during the breeding season (Appendix A: Table 3). Comparative data from roadside breeding bird surveys conducted in the BISO over a slightly different 100-stop route (70% overlap of stops) during 1994-1996 are presented by Stedman (1998), while comparative data from roadside breeding bird surveys conducted in the BISO over an identical 100-stop route during 1997-2001 are presented in Stedman and Stedman (2002); comparative data from roadside breeding bird surveys conducted in the BISO over an identical 100-stop route during 2002 and 2005 may be found at S. Stedman’s website: http://iweb.tntech.edu/sstedman/BBSComparison.htm

            Generally, results from point counts conducted 2003 and 2004 are concordant with results from roadside breeding bird surveys conducted in the same years.  The 36 point counts were selected to represent a broader range of habitat types than are represented by the 100 stops of the roadside breeding bird surveys; however, the greater number of stops on the roadside breeding bird surveys somewhat compensated for the lesser habitat diversity they reflected. Thus, the two surveys ended up with almost equal species representation during the years of the inventory.

Wintering Species Inventoried

            Results from walking transects, night surveys, and general inventories of the park during two winter seasons led to the registration of 66 species, 59 of which were recorded during the winter of 2003-2004 (Appendix A: Table 4) and 54 of which were recorded during the winter of 2004-2005 (Appendix A: Table 5).

            Results from the two winters differ somewhat in terms of species diversity and remarkably in terms of bird abundance, with results from the winter of 2003-2004 revealing more species and a much greater abundance of birds than results from the winter of 2004-2005.  Likely reasons for these differences directly involve the distinctly different abundance of wild food, including both hard and soft mast, produced during those winters and indirectly involve weather conditions present during the seasons just prior to those winters, as discussed under “Influence of Weather on Results” below.

Species Composition

Generally speaking, the larger and more diverse in habitat a discrete site is, the larger the number of bird species that will be found in it.  This rule of thumb was generally borne out by the data obtained during this survey.  I.e., the BISO is a large park, which would dictate that it harbor a large number of species.  Habitat diversity in the park is high, but the total area of habitats that are not mature forest is quite small, dictating that the park should harbor a low number of species.  The moderate number of species found within the park results from its large (mostly forested) area and its somewhat limited area devoted to diverse habitats.

While the BISO harbors a bird community that must be regarded as only moderately diverse overall, the summer bird community of the park possesses a high percentage (c. 50%) of breeding Neotropical migrants.  The percentage of these species in the BISO is equal to the percentage of such species found in other relatively pristine forested sites in Kentucky and Tennessee, especially on the Cumberland Plateau, and is higher than the percentage of these species found at sites whose quality has been degraded by development and other homogenic factors.  The high percentage of breeding Neotropical migrants in the park undoubtedly results from the high quality forest habitats and resultant high quality food resources of the park.  Also the park’s forests have not been fragmented to any considerable degree by homogenic factors such as land clearing for development or agriculture; as a result, species that benefit from fragmentation and homogenic alteration of the landscape such as Blue Jay (an egg predator) and Brown-headed Cowbird (a nest parasite) are present in the park in minimal numbers (see results of point counts), benefiting the breeding productivity of Neotropical migrants in the park.

Discussion

Comparative Effectiveness of Survey Techniques

Each of the five survey techniques used for this inventory was effective for its purpose, but in terms of generating the largest number of species per unit of time expended, the general inventory was probably the most effective, followed by the walking transect (for wintering species only) and the point count (for breeding species only).  Due to its restricted emphasis, the night survey generated far fewer species per unit of time expended than the other methods of acquiring bird data, although the quality of species detected during night surveys was usually high.

Influence of Weather on Results

An effort was made to visit BISO during periods when the weather was conducive to registering the maximum number of species during general inventory work, transects, point counts, and night surveys, so the influence of weather on the results of the overall inventory was generally positive.

            To a large extent, weather during the summers and falls of 2003 and 2004 was indirectly an important factor in determining the abundance of birds in the BISO during the winters of 2003-2004 and 2004-2005.  Weather conditions during summer and fall 2003 promoted a plentiful crop of mast, which in turn supported a high density of birds in the park during the winter of 2003-2004 (Appendix A: Table 4).  Conversely, weather conditions during the summer and fall of 2004 did not support production of much mast, which in turn led to a considerably lower density of birds in the park during the winter of 2004-2005 (Appendix A: Table 5).

Description of Bird Diversity in Terms of Estimated and Observed Species Richness

            Good estimates of bird diversity in the park had been previously obtained (Stedman and Stedman 2002).  Results of the bird inventory in the park confirmed these earlier estimates; i.e., the park’s overall bird diversity is only moderate, but its diversity of breeding Neotropical migrants is good to excellent, no doubt as a result of the fairly mature forest covering about 80-90% of the park’s area.

Unexpected Results

            Perhaps the most unexpected result of the bird inventory in the BISO was provided by an observer—Frank Renfrow—not directly connected to the inventory.  Renfrow discovered the first nest of Red-breasted Nuthatch for the park (and for the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee) 7 June 2003 in Scott County, Tennessee.  After being apprised of this nest by Renfrow, S. Stedman visited the nest site 9 June 2003 and obtained a photograph (Appendix A: Figure 1 [cover]) of one of the adult nuthatches at the entrance to cavity where this nest was placed.  The discovery of this nest was considered noteworthy enough to be published (Renfrow and Stedman 2003).

            During night surveys for owls and nightjars in June 2003, Chuck-will’s-widows were heard at two sites of the BISO—Rugby Bridge (Fentress County, Tennessee) and West Bandy Rd. (Fentress County, Tennessee).  These records were somewhat unexpected, as this caprimulgid is rare and local on the Cumberland Plateau, especially north of I-40 in Tennessee.

            The presence of breeding Canada Geese at the sewage lagoons of the Bandy Creek Visitor Center during summer 2004 was another, somewhat less noteworthy, but also somewhat unexpected consequence of the inventory.  Two adult geese and four large goslings at this site 15 June 2004 clearly confirmed the breeding of this species in the park, a status suspected from the presence of geese along Clear Fork in earlier years, but unconfirmed by evidence.

            House Wrens are usually found in the park only during spring and fall migration.  No breeding record of this species had occurred prior to the inventory, and no breeding evidence was found during the inventory.  Prior to the inventory, only one early winter record of this wren was known from the park, so the discovery of a House Wren 6 February 2005 in the Joe Branch area of the southern part of the park was somewhat unexpected.

Long suspected to breed along the main river between Yamacraw Bridge and Yahoo Falls but never detected after May in the park, a Prothonotary Warbler was found  there 14 June 2004, providing evidence that this warbler probably breeds in the park, at least in some years.  This finding was another somewhat unexpected result of the inventory effort.

            The discovery of a Mourning Warbler in the park was yet another somewhat unexpected result of the bird inventory.  Although not focused on detecting transient species, the inventory nonetheless produced a late record of this warbler, previously unrecorded in the park, when a singing male was found 6 June 2003 on the east side of the main river downstream from Station Camp.

Birds Not Found

Some species that were sought in the park but not found included wintering Short-eared Owl (not expected and not found during night surveys of field areas) and breeding Blue-winged and Golden-winged warblers (not found, but insufficient effort was focused on the power line right-of-ways in the park to say conclusively that they were not present).  Additionally, Red-headed Woodpecker was sought during all seasons of the inventory, but the only evidence of its presence in the park was a single primary feather found 4 June 2003 (Appendix A: Figure 3).

Recommendations for Management and Protection of Significant Habitats

            Shrub-scrub habitat in the park is quite limited in extent, mainly occurring in fields that have been allowed to undergo succession; however, in these limited areas, shrub-scrub habitat is further limited by temporal pressures, because this habitat type generally occurs for only 5-10 years following the cessation of mowing or cultivating in a field; thereafter, if not maintained by periodic mowing or periodic controlled burns, the site becomes a second-growth forest unable to support species requiring early successional habitat in which to breed.  Because of these considerations and because shrub-scrub habitat is important to the breeding success of many deep forest species that use it as a “nursery” for fledglings, it is recommended that as many of the park’s fields as possible be managed to remain in the early successional—i.e., shrub-scrub--state, usually considered to be 1-3 m in height, rather than managed to remain in mowed or climax grassland.

            Nearly all fields in the park are smaller than the minimal area (25 hectares) likely to promote successful reproduction by grassland obligate bird species.  The area around Rugby Bridge is probably large enough to promote successful reproduction by these species if managed as a native grassland, but elsewhere consideration should be given to promoting shrub-scrub habitat rather than grassland habitat in as many fields of the park as possible, as this habitat is likely to promote successful breeding by a wide variety of shrub-scrub obligates, such as Prairie Warbler and Yellow-breasted Chat, and it is also important to birds of deep forest, as noted above.  However, it is not recommended that forest habitat be cleared in order to increase the size of fields in the park, since older forest types are clearly the dominant and most important habitats of the park.

            During late winter and early spring of 2005, controlled burns were conducted at several sites within the park.  Results from the roadside breeding bird survey conducted during June 2005 suggested that the burn along Divide Road between the turnoff to Fork Ridge Rd. and northeastward for several miles led to an increase in the breeding density of several species that benefit from openings in the mid-canopy; among these species are Eastern Wood-Pewee, a rather scarce flycatcher in the park, and various vireos, including Blue-headed Vireo.  Based on these admittedly somewhat limited results, it would seem advisable to continue a regimen of controlled burns at that site (and perhaps others).  Should the long-term effect of such burns result in a more “park-like” appearance in that area (i.e., widely dispersed trees with little understory and much grassy cover), then species such as Bachman’s Sparrow might conceivably be induced to breed there.

Suitability of Habitat for Persistence of Sensitive Species

            Changes wrought in the mixed forests of the park by the outbreak of southern pine beetles from 1999-2002 may have altered that habitat sufficiently to reduce the presence of Northern Saw-whet Owls in the park during winter.  Night surveys for this owl were conducted at 100 roadside sites during January 2000, resulting in the detection of 10 owls; this survey occurred early in the period of the pine beetle outbreak.  During January 2001, 50 of the same sites were surveyed for owls without detection of any saw-whets.  During January 2002, the entire set of 100 sites was again surveyed, with four owls being detected.  As part of the bird inventory, about 30 of these sites were surveyed during February 2004, when two owls were detected; however, during early December 2004 about 60 of the same sites were surveyed without any owl detections.  Absence of, or reductions in numbers of, owls detected in all winters following the winter of 1999-2000 suggest that the mixed forest habitat attractive to the owls has been degraded to an unknown but probably significant extent by beetle damage. Management of the park forests to encourage regrowth of mixed forest with a large component of pines would probably increase the suitability of the park forests for wintering Northern Saw-whet Owl in the future.

            Most registrations of Cerulean Warblers during the bird inventory took place in the main river gorge in the Kentucky portion of the park. Cerulean Warbler habitat—older growth deciduous forests with tulip poplar as a co-dominant on the lower and mid-slopes of the gorge—in this part of the park still seems suitable, but populations of this warbler have definitely declined there since the mid-1990s, when, for instance, 13 individuals were counted during May 1995; whether this reduction is associated with changes in habitat (less likely) or with other, as yet undetermined, factors (more likely) remains unclear, as is true regarding the reduction in population numbers of this songbird throughout most of its breeding range.

            The population of Swainson’s Warbler in the park is thinly but fairly consistently distributed in most areas with an extensive rhododendron-dominated understory.  This habitat in the park seems not to be in any danger of reduction in quality or extent, so Swainson’s Warblers should be able to persist in the park for the indefinite future. Management to increase the extent of this habitat is probably unnecessary, but, if undertaken, must be viewed as a long-term (30+ years) venture requiring equally long-term commitment of park resources by park managers; management of rhododendron habitat by controlled burning (Watson 2004) strikes us as highly likely to affect the Swainson’s Warbler population in the park in a negative manner.

 

Literature Cited

Anderson, B., R. Tankersly, L. Perry, K. Miles, B. Enderle, S. Carr, J. York, B. Stedman, C. Nicholson, J. Taulman, G. Crichton, B. Swafford, C. Hunter, and B. Ford.  2000.  Draft Bird Conservation Plan for Northern Cumberland Plateau Physiographic Area.  Version 1.0. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arlington, VA. 57 pp.

Hamel, P. B.  1992. The Land Manager’s Guide to Birds of the South. The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Forest Service, Atlanta, Georgia.

Hamel, P. B., W. P. Smith, D. J. Twedt, J. R. Woehr, E. Morris, R. B. Hamilton, and R. J. Cooper. 1996. A Land Manager’s Guide to Point Counts of Birds in the Southeast. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-120. New Orleans, LA: U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 39 pp.

Renfrow, F., and S. J. Stedman. 2003. Red-breasted Nuthatches in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area: First Nesting Record for Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau. Migrant 74 (1): 1-5.

Robbins, C.S., D. Bystrak, and P. H. Geissler. 1986. The Breeding Bird Survey: Its First Fifteen Years, 1965-1979.  Washington D. C., Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service Resource Publication 157.

Stedman, S. J. 1998. Breeding Bird Survey of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Kentucky and Tennessee, 1994-1996.  Kentucky Warbler 74 (2): 35-43.

Stedman, S. J., and B. H. Stedman. 2002. Notes on the Birds of the Big South Fork National River and  Recreation Area and Obed National Wild and Scenic River. Privately printed, Cookeville, Tennessee, 146 + viii pp.

Watson, J. K. 2004. Avian Conservation Implementation Plan: Big South Fork   National River and Recreation Area. Unpublished report U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

Appendix A

Table 1.  Species, status, and seasonal abundance of birds observed in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area; this list incorporates all data from the bird inventory but also includes all other data available known to the authors.  * = possible breeding evidence noted; ** = probable breeding evidence noted; *** = confirmed breeding evidence noted.  Key to abbreviations: PR = permanent resident; SR = summer resident; TR = transient; VR = visitor; WR = winter resident; C = common; FC = fairly common; U = uncommon; VU = very uncommon; R = rare. Bold-faced species were recorded during the inventory; light-faced species were not recorded during that project.

Common Name

Scientific Name

Status

Sp

Su

F

Wi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada Goose ***

Branta canadensis

PR

VU

VU

R

R

Wood Duck ***

Aix sponsa

PR

U

U

U

VU

American Black Duck

Anas rubripes

WR

 

 

R

R

Mallard *

Anas platyrhynchos

WR

 

 

 

VU

Blue-winged Teal

Anas discors

TR

R

 

R

 

Green-winged Teal

Anas crecca

TR

R

 

 

 

Ring-necked Duck

Aythya collaris

TR

 

 

R

 

Surf Scoter

Melanitta perspicillata

TR

R

 

 

 

Hooded Merganser

Lophodytes cucullatus

TR

 

 

R

 

Ruffed Grouse ***

Bonasa umbellus

PR

U

U

U

U

Wild Turkey ***

Meleagris gallopavo 

PR

FC

FC

FC

FC

Northern Bobwhite

Colinus virginianus

former PR

 

 

 

 

Common Loon

Gavia immer

VR

 

R

 

 

Pied-billed Grebe

Podilymbus podiceps

WR

VU

 

VU

 

Double-crested Cormorant

Phalacrocorax auritus

WR

 

 

R

 

Great Blue Heron *

Ardea herodias

PR

U

U

U

U

Green Heron *

Butorides virescens

SR

VU

R

VU

 

Black Vulture *

Coragyps atratus

PR

FC

U

U

FC

Turkey Vulture *

Cathartes aura

PR

FC

U

FC

FC

Osprey *

Pandion haliaetus

TR

VU

 

VU

 

Bald Eagle *

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

WR

VU

 

VU

VU

Northern Harrier

Circus cyanea

TR

R

 

R

 

Sharp-shinned Hawk ***

Accipiter striatus

PR

U

VU

VU

VU

Cooper's Hawk ***

Accipiter cooperi

PR

VU

VU

VU

VU

Red-shouldered Hawk ***

Buteo lineatus

PR

U

U

U

U

Broad-winged Hawk ***

Buteo platypterus

SR

U

U

U

 

Red-tailed Hawk ***

Buteo jamaicensis

PR

U

U

U

U

American Kestrel 

Falco sparverius

VR

 

 

R

 

Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus

former PR

 

 

 

 

Merlin

Falco columbarius

former TR

 

 

 

 

American Coot

Fulica americana

TR

VU

 

 

 

Sandhill Crane

Grus canadensis

TR

 

 

VU

VU

Killdeer **

Charadrius vociferus

VR

 

 

VU

VU

Spotted Sandpiper

Actitis macularius

TR

VU

 

VU

 

Solitary Sandpiper

Tringa solitaria

former TR

 

 

 

 

Greater Yellowlegs

Tringa melanoleuca

TR

R

 

 

 

Wilson's Snipe

Gallinago delicata

WR

 

 

VU

R

American Woodcock ***

Scolopax minor

PR

VU

VU

VU

VU

Rock Pigeon **

Columba livia

PR

VU

VU

VU

 

Mourning Dove ***

Zenaida macroura

PR

FC

FC

FC

FC

Yellow-billed Cuckoo ***

Coccyzus americanus 

SR

VU

U

VU

 

Black-billed Cuckoo

Coccyzus erythropthalmus

TR

 

R

 

 

Eastern Screech-Owl **

Megascops asio

PR

U

U

U

U

Great Horned Owl **

Bubo virginianus

PR

VU

VU

VU

VU

Barred Owl ***

Strix varia

PR

U

U

U

U

Short-eared Owl

Asio flammeus

former WR

 

 

 

 

Northern Saw-whet Owl *

Aegolius acadicus

WR

VU

R

VU

VU

Common Nighthawk

Chordeiles minor 

TR

 

 

VU

 

Chuck-will's-widow *

Caprimulgus carolinensis

SR

 

R

 

 

Eastern Whip-poor-will **

Caprimulgus vociferus

SR

FC

FC

VU

 

Chimney Swift *

Chaetura pelagica

SR

U

U

U

 

Ruby-throat. Hummingbird **

Archilochus colubris

SR

U

U

U

 

Belted Kingfisher **

Ceryle alcyon 

PR

U

U

U

U

Red-headed Woodpecker 

Melanerpes erythrocephalus

VR

VU

 

VU

R

Red-bellied Woodpecker **

Melanerpes carolinus

PR

U

U

U

U

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Sphyrapicus varius

WR

U

 

U

U

Downy Woodpecker ***

Picoides pubescens

PR

FC

FC

FC

FC

Hairy Woodpecker **

Picoides villosus

PR

U

U

U

U

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Picoides borealis

 former PR

 

 

 

 

Northern Flicker ***

Colaptes auratus

PR

U

U

U

U

Pileated Woodpecker ***

Dryocopus pileatus

PR

FC

FC

FC

FC

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Contopus cooperi

TR

R

R

 

 

Eastern Wood-Pewee **

Contopus virens 

SR

U

U

U

 

Acadian Flycatcher ***

Empidonax virescens

SR

FC

FC

FC

 

Least Flycatcher

Empidonax minimus

TR

R

 

 

 

Eastern Phoebe ***

Sayornis phoebe

PR

FC

FC

FC

U

Great Crested Flycatcher **

Myiarchus crinitus

SR

U

U

U

 

Eastern Kingbird **

Tyrannus tyrannus

SR

VU

VU

 

 

Loggerhead Shrike

Lanius ludovianus

former PR

 

 

 

 

White-eyed Vireo **

Vireo griseus

SR

FC

FC

FC

 

Yellow-throated Vireo **

Vireo flavifrons 

SR

U

U

U

 

Blue-headed Vireo **

Vireo solitarius

SR

FC

FC

FC

 

Philadelphia Vireo

Vireo philadelphicus

TR

 

 

VU

 

Red-eyed Vireo **

Vireo olivaceous

SR

C

C

FC

 

Blue Jay **

Cyanocitta cristata

PR

FC

FC

C

FC

American Crow **

Corvus brachyrhynchos

PR

C

C

C

C

Purple Martin *

Progne subis

SR

VU

VU

 

 

Tree Swallow 

Tachycineta bicolor

TR

R

 

 

 

N. Rough-winged Swallow ***

Stelgidopteryx serripennis

SR

U

U

VU

 

Barn Swallow ***

Hirundo rustica

SR

VU

R

VU

 

Carolina Chickadee ***

Poecile carolinensis 

PR

FC

FC

FC

FC

Tufted Titmouse ***

Baeolophus bicolor

PR

FC

FC

FC

FC

Red-breasted Nuthatch ***

Sitta canadensis

PR

VU

R

VU

U

White-breasted Nuthatch ***

Sitta carolinensis

PR

U

U

U

U

Brown Creeper

Certhia americana

WR

U

 

U

U

Carolina Wren ***

Thryothorus ludovicianus 

PR

FC

FC

FC

FC

House Wren

Troglodytes aedon

TR

VU

 

VU

R

Winter Wren

Troglodytes hielamlis

WR

VU

 

VU

U

Marsh Wren

Cistothorus palustris

TR

 

 

R

 

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Regulus satrapa

WR

U

 

U

C

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Regulus calendula

WR

U

 

U

U

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher ***

Polioptila caerulea 

SR

FC

FC

U

 

Eastern Bluebird ***

Sialia sialis

PR

U

U

U

U

Veery

Catharus fuscescens

TR

R

 

VU

 

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Catharus minimus 

TR

 

 

R

 

Swainson's Thrush

Catharus ustulatus

TR

U

 

U

 

Hermit Thrush

Catharus guttatus

WR

U

 

U

U

Wood Thrush **

Hylocichla mustelina

SR

FC

FC

U

 

American Robin ***

Turdus migratorius

PR

U

U

FC

FC

Gray Catbird *

Dumetella carolinensis

SR

U

VU

U

 

Northern Mockingbird

Mimus polyglottus

VR

 

 

R

R

Brown Thrasher ***

Toxostoma rufum

PR

U

U

U

VU

European Starling ***

Sturnus vulgaris

PR

VU

U

FC

U

American Pipit

Anthus rubescens

TR

 

 

R

 

Cedar Waxwing ***

Bombycilla cedrorum

PR

VU

VU

VU

VU

Blue-winged Warbler

Vermivora cyanoptera

TR

VU

 

VU

 

Golden-winged Warbler

Vermivora chrysoptera

TR

R

 

R

 

Tennessee Warbler

Oreothlypis peregrina

TR

VU

 

U

 

Orange-crowned Warbler

Oreothlypis celata

TR

 

 

R

 

Nashville Warbler

Oreothlypis ruficapilla

TR

R

 

 

 

Northern Parula ***

Parula americana 

SR

U

U

VU

 

Yellow Warbler

Dendroica petechia

TR

R

 

 

 

Chestnut-sided Warbler *

Dendroica pensylvanica

SR

U

R

U

 

Magnolia Warbler

Dendroica magnolia

TR

U

 

U

 

Cape May Warbler

Dendroica tigrina

TR

VU

 

R

 

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Dendroica caerulescens

TR

 

 

VU

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Dendroica coronata

WR

U

 

FC

FC

Black-thr. Green Warbler ***

Dendroica virens

SR

FC

FC

FC

 

Blackburnian Warbler

Dendroica fusca

TR

VU

 

U

 

Yellow-throated Warbler ***

Dendroica dominica

SR

FC

FC

FC

 

Pine Warbler ***

Dendroica pinus

PR

C

C

C

VU

Prairie Warbler ***

Dendroica discolor

SR

U

U

U

 

Palm Warbler

Dendroica palmarum

TR

VU

 

U

 

Bay-breasted Warbler

Dendroica castanea

TR

VU

 

U

 

Blackpoll Warbler

Dendroica striata

TR

R

 

 

 

Cerulean Warbler **

Dendroica cerulea

SR

R

R

R

 

Black-and-white Warbler ***

Mniotilta varia 

SR

FC

FC

U

 

American Redstart **

Setophaga ruticilla

SR

VU

VU

U

 

Prothonotary Warbler *

Protonotaria citrea

SR

VU

R

 

 

Worm-eating Warbler ***

Helmitheros vermivorum

SR

FC

FC

U

 

Swainson's Warbler ***

Limnothlypis swainsonii

SR

U

U

 

 

Ovenbird ***

Seiurus aurocapillus 

SR

C

C

U

 

Northern Waterthrush

Parkesia novaboracensis

TR

 

 

R

 

Louisiana Waterthrush ***

Parkesia motacilla

SR

FC

FC

VU

 

Kentucky Warbler ***

Oporornis formosus 

SR

U

U

VU

 

Mourning Warbler

Oporornis philadelphia

TR

 

R

 

 

Common Yellowthroat **

Geothlypis trichas

SR

U

U

U

 

Hooded Warbler ***

Wilsonia citrina 

SR

C

C

FC

 

Canada Warbler

Wilsonia canadensis

TR

R

 

R

 

Yellow-breasted Chat ***

Icteria virens

SR

U

U

VU

 

Eastern Towhee ***

Pipilo erythrophthalmus 

PR

FC

FC

FC

U

American Tree Sparrow

Spizella arborea

VR

 

 

 

R

Chipping Sparrow ***

Spizella passerina 

PR

U

U

U

 

Field Sparrow ***

Spizella pusilla 

PR

U

U

U

 

Vesper Sparrow

Pooecetes gramineus

TR

VU

 

R

 

Savannah Sparrow

Passerculus sandwichensis

WR

 

 

R

 

Fox Sparrow

Passerella iliaca

WR

VU

 

VU

U

Song Sparrow **

Melospiza melodia 

PR

VU

VU

U

U

Lincoln's Sparrow

Melospiza lincolnii

TR

 

 

R

 

Swamp Sparrow

Melospiza georgiana

WR

VU

 

VU

VU

White-throated Sparrow

Zonotrichia albicollis

WR

U

 

U

FC

White-crowned Sparrow

Zonotrichia leucophrys

WR

 

 

VU

 

Dark-eyed Junco

Junco hyemalis 

WR

U

 

U

C

Summer Tanager **

Piranga rubra

SR

U

VU

U

 

Scarlet Tanager ***

Piranga olivacea

SR

FC

FC

U

 

Northern Cardinal ***

Cardinalis cardinalis

PR

U

U

U

U

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Pheucticus ludovicianus 

TR

U

 

U

 

Blue Grosbeak *

Passerina caerulea 

SR

R

R

 

 

Indigo Bunting ***

Passerina cyanea 

SR

FC

C

U

 

Bobolink

Dolichonyx oryzivorus

former TR

 

 

 

 

Red-winged Blackbird ***

Agelaius phoeniceus

PR

U

U

U

VU

Eastern Meadowlark *

Sturnella magna

VR

R

R

R

R

Common Grackle ***

Quiscalus quiscula

PR

VU

U

FC

VU

Brown-headed Cowbird ***

Molothrus ater

PR

VU

U

 

R

Orchard Oriole *

Icterus spurius 

SR

R

R

 

 

Baltimore Oriole *

Icterus galbula

VR

R

 

 

 

Purple Finch

Carpodacus purpureus

WR

VU

 

VU

VU

House Finch 

Carpodacus mexicanus

VR

VU

 

VU

VU

Red Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra

VR

R

 

 

 

Pine Siskin

Spinus pinus

VR

R

 

VU

VU

American Goldfinch *

Spinus tristis

PR

U

U

FC

U

Evening Grosbeak

Coccothraustes vespertinus

WR

 

 

R

R

House Sparrow ***

Passer domesticus

PR

VU

VU

VU

VU

 

Table 2.  Results of point counts conducted at 36 stops (10 minutes each) in the BISO during the summers of 2003 and 2004.Greater detail about the results of these point counts is provided in the Excel file that supplements this report.

Species

 

2003

 

2004

 

Stops

Inds

Stops

Inds

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Turkey

2

2

1

1

Great Blue Heron

1

1

0

0

Turkey Vulture

3

4

0

0

Red-shouldered Hawk

0

0

5

6

Broad-winged Hawk

0

0

2

2

Red-tailed Hawk

0

0

1

1

Killdeer

1

1

1

1

Mourning Dove

6

6

3

3

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

21

31

16

17

Eastern Whip-poor-will

0

0

1

1

Chimney Swift

4

4

2

2

Ruby-thr. Hummingbird

1

1

4

4

Belted Kingfisher

2

2

1

2

Red-bellied Woodpecker

7

8

2

2

Downy Woodpecker

7

7

8

9

Hairy Woodpecker

3

3

2

3

Northern Flicker

1

1

3

3

Pileated Woodpecker

21

26

15

19

Eastern Wood-Pewee

1

1

0

0

Acadian Flycatcher

12

20

13

17

Eastern Phoebe

6

6

9

9

Great Crested Flycatcher

1

1

2

2

White-eyed Vireo

6

9

4

7

Yellow-throated Vireo

6

6

3

3

Blue-headed Vireo

8

9

4

4

Red-eyed Vireo

36

80

35

74

Blue Jay

9

11

8

10

American Crow

30

36

26

30

Purple Martin

0

0

1

1

N. Rough-winged Swallow

5

5

5

6

Carolina Chickadee

9

10

9

9

Tufted Titmouse

17

22

18

18

White-breasted Nuthatch

11

11

11

13

Carolina Wren

11

13

18

25

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

12

12

15

15

Eastern Bluebird

0

0

2

2

Wood Thrush

8

8

8

11

American Robin

1

1

0

0

Gray Catbird

1

1

1

1

Brown Thrasher

2

3

1

1

Cedar Waxwing

2

2

1

1

Northern Parula

13

18

10

11

Black-throat. Green Warbler

20

32

21

33

Yellow-throated Warbler

11

13

7

7

Pine Warbler

7

8

8

9

Prairie Warbler

3

6

4

7

Black-and-white Warbler

21

25

4

5

American Redstart

1

1

0

0

Worm-eating Warbler

12

14

15

15

Swainson’s Warbler

1

2

1

1

Ovenbird

24

46

23

52

Louisiana Waterthrush

4

4

2

2

Kentucky Warbler

3

3

5

5

Common Yellowthroat

5

9

7

11

Hooded Warbler

25

34

20

34

Yellow-breasted Chat

5

7

7

12

Eastern Towhee

6

7

10

11

Chipping Sparrow

1

1

0

0

Field Sparrow

4

6

3

3

Song Sparrow

1

1

0

0

Scarlet Tanager

22

28

19

21

Northern Cardinal

10

10

8

8

Indigo Bunting

18

31

16

24

Red-winged Blackbird

0

0

1

1

Common Grackle

0

0

1

1

Brown-headed Cowbird

2

2

1

1

House Finch

0

0

1

1

American Goldfinch

5

5

5

5

 

 

 

 

 

Total Species

 

59

 

61

 

Table 3. Results of 100-stop roadside breeding bird surveys conducted in the BISO during the summers of 2003 and 2004 by Stephen J. Stedman.  Species for which no registrations are listed are included to indicate that these species were registered on surveys conducted earlier (1997-2002) or later (2005) than during the period of the bird inventory.

Species

 

2003

 

2004

 

Stops

Inds

Stops

Inds

 

 

 

 

 

Ruffed Grouse

0

0

0

0

Wild Turkey

0

0

1

1

Great Blue Heron

0

0

0

0

Turkey Vulture

0

0

0

0

Sharp-shinned Hawk

0

0

0

0

Red-shouldered Hawk

4

4

5

6

Broad-winged Hawk

1

1

2

2

Red-tailed Hawk

0

0

0

0

Killdeer

1

1

0

0

Mourning Dove

8

9

9

10

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

18

20

46

54

Barred Owl *

1

1

0

0

Chuck-will's-widow *

0

0

0

0

Eastern Whip-poor-will *

1

1

2

5

Chimney Swift

0

0

3

4

Ruby-thr. Hummingbird

5

8

2

2

Belted Kingfisher

0

0

0

0

Red-bellied Woodpeck.

4

4

5

7

Downy Woodpecker

6

6

5

5

Hairy Woodpecker

6

6

5

7

Northern Flicker

0

0

4

4

Pileated Woodpecker

21

24

24

27

Eastern Wood-Pewee

5

5

8

8

Acadian Flycatcher

5

7

10

11

Eastern Phoebe

8

10

13

13

Great Crested Flycatcher

1

1

2

2

Eastern Kingbird

1

1

0

0

White-eyed Vireo

6

6

12

14

Yellow-throated Vireo

3

3

2

2

Blue-headed Vireo

4

4

10

13

Red-eyed Vireo

94

191

89

190

Blue Jay

12

15

12

13

American Crow

61

76

66

77

Purple Martin

0

0

0

0

N. Rough-winged Swall.

0

0

2

3

Barn Swallow

1

3

1

2

Carolina Chickadee

13

15

18

21

Tufted Titmouse

27

32

34

36

White-breasted Nuthatch

11

14

21

24

Carolina Wren

17

18

34

40

Blue-gr. Gnatcatcher

12

12

9

9

Eastern Bluebird

1

3

0

0

Wood Thrush

15

17

28

31

American Robin

1

2

1

1

Gray Catbird

0

0

0

0

Brown Thrasher

2

2

1

1

European Starling

2

6

2

5

Cedar Waxwing

3

5

1

1

Northern Parula

8

11

7

10

Chestnut-sided Warbler

0

0

2

4

Black-thr. Green Warbler

21

33

43

68

Yellow-throated Warbler

14

18

16

17

Pine Warbler

19

22

17

22

Prairie Warbler

7

10

11

14

Black-and-white Warbler

20

21

35

38

American Redstart

0

0

0

0

Worm-eating Warbler

17

18

40

44

Swainson's Warbler

1

1

1

1

Ovenbird

60

110

70

173

Louisiana Waterthrush

0

0

2

2

Kentucky Warbler

0

0

1

1

Common Yellowthroat

2

2

2

2

Hooded Warbler

58

86

67

100

Yellow-breasted Chat

10

14

12

17

Summer Tanager

1

1

1

1

Scarlet Tanager

36

41

50

54

Eastern Towhee

16

23

18

21

Chipping Sparrow

1

1

3

3

Field Sparrow

1

1

1

1

Northern Cardinal

5

6

15

15

Blue Grosbeak

0

0

0

0

Indigo Bunting

58

86

58

81

Red-winged Blackbird

2

7

2

11

Eastern Meadowlark

0

0

0

0

Common Grackle

1

2

3

3

Brown-headed Cowbird

3

5

2

2

Orchard Oriole

0

0

0

0

American Goldfinch

0

0

7

7

House Sparrow

1

1

1

2

 

 

 

 

 

Total Species

 

58

 

62

Table 4. Results of walking transects conducted in the BISO during winter 2003-2004.  Key to abbreviations: BMB = Burnt Mill Bridge loop (TN); TA = Twin Arches Loop (TN); YA = portion of Yahoo Arch loop in park (KY); SC/LF = John Muir Trail from Station Camp to Leatherwood Ford (TN); HB/BC = an unofficial loop near Huling Branch and Bear Creek (KY); HC = Honey Creek loop (TN); and NBC = an unofficial loop near No Business Creek (TN).

Sites

BMB

TA

YA

SC/LF

HB/BC

HC

NBC

Other

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date

1 Dec

3 Dec

12 Dec

16 Jan

23 Jan

13 Feb

21 Feb

 

 

Start Time (EST)

0910

0929

1045

1052

1300

0957

0948

 

 

End Time (EST)

1142

1259

1547

1558

1700

1342

1512

 

 

Hours

2.5

3 a

4

5.1

4

3.75

5.4

 

27.75

Sky

0-2

2

0-1

1

0

0

1-2

 

 

Wind (Beaufort)

0

0

0

0-1

1-2

0-1

1-2

 

 

Temps (F)

30s

40s

30-40s

30-40s

30s

40s

40s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Duck

--

--

x

--

--

--

5

 

5

Ruffed Grouse

--

--

--

x

1

1

2

 

4

Wild Turkey

x

--

--

3

--

--

--

 

3

Black Vulture

--

--

--

--

1

--

--

 

1

Turkey Vulture

--

1

--

--

--

--

--

 

1

Bald Eagle

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

x e

Red-sh. Hawk

--

--

--

x

--

--

2

 

2

Red-tailed Hawk

--

--

1

3

--

--

--

 

4

[Sandhill Crane]

--

b

--

--

--

--

--

 

b

Killdeer

--

--

--

--

--

x

x

 

x

Am. Woodcock

--

--

--

--

--

--

x

 

x

Rock Pigeon

x

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

x

Mourning Dove

x

--

--

x

--

--

x

 

x

E. Screech-Owl

--

--

--

--

x

--

--

 

x

Great Horned Owl

--

--

--

x

--

--

--

 

x

Barred Owl

--

--

1

x

--

x

1

 

2

N. Saw-whet Owl

--

--

--

--

--

x

x

 

x

Belted Kingfisher

--

--

--

1

--

x

2

 

3

Red-bell. Woodp.

1

4

13

13

6

x

4

 

41

Yellow-bell. Saps.

--

2

3

5

2

--

2

 

14

Downy Woodp.

5

4

7

15

6

x

6

 

43

Hairy Woodp.

1

2

7

12

7

x

3

 

32

N. Flicker

2

2

9

5

--

--

2

 

20

Pileated Woodp.

7

3

7

23

21

5

10

 

76

E. Phoebe

--

3

1

5

--

--

x

 

9

Blue Jay

5

x

8

1

1

3

12

 

30

Am. Crow

6

3

6

8

3

1

1

 

28

Carolina Chickadee

27

9

10

15

14

19

23

 

117

Tufted Titmouse

14

12

11

20

7

13

13

 

90

Red-br. Nuthatch

2

x

--

x

--

--

--

 

2

White-br. Nuthatch

7

2

13

3

7

2

4

 

38

Brown Creeper

6

3

2

2

3

2

5

 

23

Carolina Wren

15

6

15

14

5

9

13

 

77

Winter Wren

5

4

3

10

4

3

8

 

37

Golden-cr. Kinglet

39

10

18

22

31

7

13

 

140

Ruby-cr. Kinglet

x

--

--

--

--

--

2

 

2

E. Bluebird

x

1

4

5

--

1

x

 

11

Hermit Thrush

2

2

1

2

7

--

5

 

19

Am. Robin

1

1

2

40

2

--

x

 

46

Brown Thrasher

x

--

--

x

--

--

2

 

2

Eur. Starling

--

--

--

x

--

--

--

 

x

Cedar Waxwing

--

--

2

x

--

--

--

 

2

Yellow-r. Warbler

x

x

1

28

--

x

18

 

47

Pine Warbler

--

--

--

x

--

--

1

 

1

Eastern Towhee

x

1

2

6

8

1

7

 

25

Field Sparrow

--

x

--

2

--

--

2

 

4

Fox Sparrow

2

x

x

x

1

--

--

 

3

Song Sparrow

2

1

x

6

--

x

7

 

16

Swamp Sparrow

--

x

--

x

--

--

3

 

3

White-thr. Sparrow

x

4

x

14

--

--

30

 

48

Dark-eyed Junco

25

9

2

x

45

18

x

 

99

N. Cardinal

1

3

x

2

4

3

14

 

27

Red-w. Blackb.

--

--

--

x

--

--

--

 

x

Common Grackle c

--

--

--

[1000]

[1100]

--

--

 

x

Br.-h. Cowbird

--

--

--

x

--

--

--

 

x

Purple Finch

2

x

--

4

--

--

1

 

7

House Finch

--

--

--

x

--

--

--

 

x

Pine Siskin

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

x f

Am. Goldfinch

2

2

7

6

2

1

4

 

24

House Sparrow

--

--

--

x

--

--

--

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Individuals

180

140

156

292

188

89

227

 

1272

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hours

2.5

3

4

5.1

4

3.75

5.4

 

27.75

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ind./Hr.

72.0

46.7

39

57.3

47

23.7

42.2

 

45.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Resident Species Registered on Transect

23

29

26

31

24

16

33

 

44

Winter Resident Species Noted Same Day Elsewhere in Park

9

7

5

17

1

9

8

 

13

Total Winter Residents

32

36

31

48

25

25

41

 

59

x = not observed on transect  but noted same day in BISO or observed during surveys of fields.

[  ] = not a winter resident of the park

a 0.5 hours not included when surveying the field at Charit Creek Hostel

b heard only; not counted in total of winter residents.

c grackle numbers not included in Total Individuals or Ind./Hr.

 

Table 5. Results of walking transects conducted in the BISO during winter 2004-2005.  Key to abbreviations: BMB = Burnt Mill Bridge loop (TN); TA = Twin Arches Loop (TN); YA = portion of Yahoo Arch loop in park (KY); SC/LF = John Muir Trail from Station Camp to Leatherwood Ford (TN); HB/BC = an unofficial loop near Huling Branch and Bear Creek (KY); HC = Honey Creek loop (TN); and NBC = an unofficial loop near No Business Creek (TN).

Sites

BMB

TA

YA

SC/LF

HB/BC

HC

NBC

Other

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date

28 Jan

3 Dec

4 Feb

12 Feb

30 Jan

6 Feb

18 Feb

 

 

Start EST

1009

1306

0938

0905

0939

0927

0916

 

 

End EST

1231

1606

1639

1305

1309

1247

1453

 

 

Hours

2.3

3

5.5

4

3.5

3.3

5.6

 

27.2

Sky

0-1

0-1

0

0

2

1

0

 

 

Wind (Beaufort)

0-1

?

4/1

0-1

0

0

0-1

 

 

Temp (F)

30s

40-50s

20-40s

30s-50s

30s

30-40s

30s-40s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada Goose

--

--

--

--

--

--

x

 

x

Wood Duck

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

x

x

Am. Black Duck

--

--

--

--

x

--

--

 

x

Mallard

--

--

--

--

x

--

--

 

x

Ruffed Grouse

--

--

--

--

--

1

--

x

1

Wild Turkey

--

x

1

5

1

--

x

x

7

Black Vulture

--

--

--

x

--

x

--

 

x

Turkey Vulture

--

1

--

x

--

x

--

x

1

Bald Eagle

--

--

1 ad

--

--

--

--

 

1

Red-sh. Hawk

--

--

2

1

x

x

1

x

4

Red-tailed Hawk

--

x

1

x

1

--

x

x

2

[Sandhill Crane]

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

x

x

Killdeer

--

--

--

--

--

--

x

x

x

Am. Woodcock

--

x

--

x

--

--

x

x

x

Rock Pigeon

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

--

Mourning Dove

x

--

x

x

--

x

1

x

1

E. Screech-Owl

--

--

--

x

-

--

--

 

x

Great Horned Owl

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

--

Barred Owl

--

x

--

--

--

--

--

x

x

N. Saw-whet Owl

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

 

--

Belted Kingfisher

1

--

2

1

--

--

1

x

5

Red-bell. Woodp.

1

1

x

--

2

x

--

 

4

Yellow-bell. Saps.

1

--

1

1

2

--

--

x

5

Downy Woodp.

5

1

4

3

14

4

3

x

34

Hairy Woodp.

2

--

2

4

3

x

4

x

15

N. Flicker

x

--

1

--

1

--

1

x

3

Pileated Woodp.

3

2

9

13

2

5

7

x

41

E. Phoebe

1

--

--

1

x

x

x

 

2

Blue Jay

x

--

1

--

--

--

--

 

1

Am. Crow

1

--

x

2

2

3

3

x

11

Carolina Chickadee

7

3

8

10

18

7

14

x

67

Tufted Titmouse

--

1

5

11

4

5

6

x

32

Red-br. Nuthatch

x