Steve Stedman's 2012 UCR Blog

Items relating to the natural history of the Upper Cumberland Region are the focus of this quasi-blog.  Birds and butterflies are the main focus, but other matters natural occasionally intrude.

 

 
22 December 2012

The Cumberland County, TN, CBC was conducted on this date.  Among 89 species recorded that day, Red Crossbill was included, the first time that this species has been recorded on a Regional CBC.

 

17 December 2012

The Russell-Adair County, KY, CBC was conducted on this date with about 72 species being recorded, among which was a Northern Shrike, the first of its kind to be recorded within the UCR, as well as on any of the Regional CBCs; congratulations to Roseanna Denton on a great find.

 

14 December 20125 January 2013

The Regional Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) will all fall within this 23-day window; at least eight counts will be conducted in the Region this season, in this order:

Cookeville, TN (15 December)
Russell-Adair Counties, KY (17 December)
White County, TN (18 December)
DeKalb County, TN (20 December)
Crossville, TN (22 December)
Somerset, KY (1 January)
Clay County, TN (3 January)
Wayne County, KY (5 January)

Check out the page of the website devoted to CBCs to learn other information about this most venerable of all bird counts:

http://iweb.tntech.edu/sstedman/CBC--CentralNode.htm

 

1 December 2012
  • The Winter 20122013 Season Begins Today

The winter season starts on this day for the purpose of recording the birdlife of the UCR and every other region on the continent and probably in the northern hemisphere of the planet.

 

23 November 2012

Individually identifiable birds are often in short supply, humans being, mostly and sadly, unable to tell one male cardinal from another or one titmouse or chickadee from another.  Whenever a bird becomes identifiable as an individual, as happens naturally as a result of genetic irregularities such as albinism, it can lead to interesting observations.

Recently, I received a nice squirrel-proof feeder from a relative; while watching the birds that came to this feeder the first morning it was up, I noticed a Tufted Titmouse using it almost immediately, and this titmouse displayed a variation in its plumage that made it identifiable as an individual, a small oval white spot on the back of each side of its head about where the supercilium ends.  As I watched, this titmouse took a sunflower seed from the squirrel-proof feeder; it then flew to a small plant stalk nearby, worked its way down to where the stalk met the leaves around the base of the stalk, and then placed the seed under one of the leaves.  It then returned to the feeder, obtained another seed, and repeated the process at the base of another stalk.  In all I saw it cache five seeds in this manner.  The Birds of North America species account for Tufted Titmouse (1994) indicates that titmice are food-cachers, so this was not a discovery that was new to ornithology, but it was the first time that I can recall seeing it take place.  The BNA account did say that no data were available about titmice recovering food that had been cached, so I have been watching this titmouse to see if it would return to any of the sites where it left food, but so far no luck with that.

I also have a dramatically albinistic chickadee using my feeders at the present time, but so far no luck with its displaying any unusual behavior, but I keep watching it when it is around just in case that might happen. It is a lovely bird, with considerable white on its dorsal surfaces.  I hope it can avoid predators for a long time to come, so I can at least see how old it gets.

 

7 and 10 November 2012

I have seldom heard Hermit Thrushes or Yellow-rumped Warblers singing during the period of the fall migration (August through November), but on 7 November (and again a few days later) a Hermit Thrush sang briefly in my yard; on 10 November a Yellow-rumped Warbler was also heard singing briefly in the yard.  Hermit Thrushes are more likely to be heard singing in late March and early April although this behavior is not common even at that season in the UCR; however, Yellow-rumped Warblers are commonly heard singing from mid-April into May.

 

2 November 2012
  • Review of Bernd Heinrich's Mind of the Raven

Although I had previously read only one of Heinrich's books (Winter World), I became convinced from my experience of reading that book that all of his other books would be well worth reading, and my expectation was fulfilled when I spent a couple of enjoyable evenings recently reading this work, originally published in 1999.

Mind of the Raven is full of fascinating discussions of raven behavior. For example, ravens are thought by people in many hunting cultures to occasionally draw the attention of human hunters to potential game animals.  The Inuit of far northern North America in particular believe that ravens sometimes draw them in the direction of caribou herds.  Heinrich thinks there may be something to this belief, but he also points out that it can work in reverse; i.e., he narrates an occasion where a woman hiker in the western U.S. once felt she was being warned about a nearby mountain lion by a raven flying overhead and vocalizing vociferously; Heinrich thinks the more likely explanation of this incident is that the raven was drawing the attention of the mountain lion to a potential prey item!

The subtitle of Mind of the Raven is Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds.  My initial thought upon reading this subtitle was that ravens were merely being characterized as predatory creatures.  However, Heinrich uses the term "wolf-bird" to suggest that ravens and wolves have co-evolved and enjoy an especially close relationship.  He believes that ravens of the past became dependent on wolves for winter food; the wolves would kill and open up the carcasses of large ungulates, allowing the ravens to feast alongside of them; this relationship went on for many hundreds of millennia and became instinctive in the raven, to the point that ravens even today are much more reluctant to approach an animal carcass that is not attended by wolves (or wolf surrogates) than they are to approach a carcass with wolves or other predators in attendance.

Heinrich spends some time dealing with the mental capacity of ravens, believing them to be capable of behavior that suggests they have mental abilities that are not unlike those of humans in some regards.

This book deserves your attention some day.

  

21/24 October 2012
  • Great Purple Hairstreak in Putnam County
  • Dainty Sulphur in Putnam County

At the end of a long day of birding on 21 October, Ed LeGrand and I stopped near my home to check out a patch of blooming asters for unusual butterflies; during our inspection Ed found a Great Purple Hairstreak, which we both photographed; this species became the 91st to be documented at BAMONA in Putnam County, and this sighting was the first in the county since 7 September 1980.  Thanks to Ed for noticing this rare 'fly within a km of my home.

I had spent a number of hours this fall searching for Dainty Sulphurs in Putnam County without any success.  My search for this elusive sulphur in the county ended 24 October when I found four on Old Mill Rd. in the southern part of the county.  I was able to photograph a pair in copulo, thus extending the list of butterflies in the county to 92 at BAMONA.

First county records of Dainty Sulphur were made in a number of other Upper Cumberland counties this year, including Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Overton, and Pickett.

 

30 September 2012

A Fall BirdBlitz was conducted in Fentress County, Tennessee, on this date; 88 species were observed by members of two field parties.  New species for Fentress County included both Gray-cheeked and Swainson's thrushes.

This bird counting event was conducted partly to prepare for the upcoming Fentress County Foray, to be conducted during June 2013.

Thanks to Ed LeGrand to taking part in this event with me.

 

21 September 2012

A Fall BirdBlitz was conducted in Barren County, Kentucky, on this date; 119 species were found by observers in four field parties.  A Sabine's Gull was probably the most unusual species found during the count.

Thanks to all who took part, particularly Dave Roemer, who has been conducting field work in Barren County for many years.  Roseanna Denton, Brooks and Lyn Atherton, David Brown, Tom Durbin, Aaron Hulsey, and I were also participants.

This bird counting event was conducted in part to prepare for the upcoming Barren County Foray, to be conducted during June 2013.

 

15 September 2012

The 9th consecutive FBC in White County, Tennessee, was conducted on this date with 108 species being detected.  The most interesting find was made by Ed LeGrand, who observed Brown-headed Nuthatches on the plateau part of the county at two sites, establishing the first county record of this slowly expanding species.

In 2013 the FBC in White County will be the 10th consecutively to be conducted there.  If the FBC in White County ends in 2013, it would be good to begin a series of ten counts in another UCR county where FBCs have not been conducted.  Cumberland County, Tennessee, might be a good choice.  Of course, the FBCs in White County could still be conducted, but the burden on the small (and aging) cadre of birders in the UCR who are willing to take part in these counts would increase accordingly.

 

1530 September 2012

The Regional fall bird counting events took place within this period.  There was a Fall Bird Count in White County (15 September). Fall BirdBlitzes took place in Barren County, KY (21 September), and in Fentress County, TN (30 September).

Information about the UCR fall bird counts may be obtained via this link:

2012 Fall Bird Counts in the UCR

 

27 August 2012
  • Humans are Odd Critters

When I published the second edition of The Birds of Putnam County, Tennessee online in 2006, no one complained about the organizational structure of that electronic work.  However, when I used virtually the same organizational structure to publish the first edition of The Birds of the Upper Cumberland Region of Kentucky and Tennessee online in 2011, there were numerous complaints about its organizational structure.  How is this possible? Did the folk who were able to handle navigating the first of these works undergo rapid senescence in the five years that passed from 2006 to 2011, so that navigating the second of these works became more difficult than they could handle?  Did their attention span suddenly dwindle to zero?  Were they simply more disgruntled with life in 2011 than in 2006?  Whatever the reason for this change, it do beat all.

 

12/22 August 2012
  • Lark Sparrow "Invasion" of UCR

Single Lark Sparrows, heretofore represented by just a dozen Regional records, were found in Fentress County (12 August 2012) and Cumberland County, TN (22 August 2012), by Ed LeGrand in each case, although I was with Ed and managed to obtain a photo of the Fentress County bird as my small contribution to that record.

More details about these sightings may be accessed via the BUCR Species Account for Lark Sparrow, while details about sightings of any other species occurring in the Region may be accessed via the main page for those accounts:

1 August 2012
  • The Fall 2012 Season Begins Today

The fall season starts on this day for the purpose of recording the birdlife of the UCR and every other region on the continent and probably in the northern hemisphere of the planet.

  • Arrival and Departure Dates for Migrant Birds in the UCR

For the first time in over a decade, I won't be maintaining a list of early arrival and late departure dates for migrant species in the Region during this migration season.  Thanks to all the observers who provided these on a consistent basis or even an intermittent one during that decade (c. 20012012).  I would still like to receive any records that supersede the early and late dates as posted for some, but not yet all, species in the Species Accounts in Birds of the Upper Cumberland Region of Kentucky and Tennessee (BUCR), so please keep alert to potential new early and late dates among your fall season sightings.

  • Archiving Data in eBird

The number of Regional observers who use eBird is probably fewer than 20 at the present time, divided somewhat unevenly between KY and TN.  I do not have access to the KY eBird users, but Regionally I suspect that only around 5 birders in the 10 KY counties of the UCR use that archiving database; I doubt more than 15 observers in the 16 TN counties of the UCR use eBird on a regular basis.  If you wish to be taken seriously as a birder, you need to start to use eBird; if you use it infrequently, you need to become more frequent in your use of it. Unless you submit a season report of your sightings or unless you send me or TN-Bird or Bird-KY regular messages, there is no way for me to know what you are doing birdwise and no way for me to be able to include your data as I strive to complete the BUCR, a link to which may be found at the BirdPage:

 

2430 July 2012

The three "Fourth of July" butterfly counts conducted this year in the UCR took place during this week: the Putnam County East butterfly count (24 July) included a Long-tailed Skipper, the first time that this rarish skipper has appeared on a count in Putnam County, among 40 species counted; the Putnam County West butterfly count (29 July) included 3 Long-tailed Skippers and a Dainty Sulphur, the latter being found in the Jackson County part of the count circle, among 41 species counted; the DeKalb County butterfly count (30 July) included each of these rarish species among c. 37 species counted.

 

129 June 2012

The Breeding Bird Forays planned for the Region during June 2012 fell within the above dates.  Information about the counties where forays were conducted and the dates when each foray was conducted may be obtained via the following link:

Some results of the foray in Bledsoe County may be examined via the following link:

The maps depicting the results of forays for the Tennessee portion of the Region are now current (i.e., they reflect the 2012 data from Bledsoe County, as well as data from eight other counties where foray data were collected according to a standard protocol and data from one county [White] were foray data were not collected according to a standard protocol). Eventually these maps will become the part of BUCR that will be essentially an atlas of the breeding birds of the Region.  Here is a link to the page where links to all the Regional foray maps are present:

Special thanks for assisting with the 2012 forays goes to Roseanna M. Denton, who covered half the 54 blocks in Wayne County, KY, and to Edmund K. LeGrand, who covered roughly half the 48 blocks in Bledsoe County, TN.  Without these contributions to the foray cause, this project would not have been as successful as it was again this year.

 

1 June 2012
  • The Summer 2012 Season Begins Today

The summer season starts on this day for the purpose of recording the birdlife of the UCR and every other region on the continent and probably in the northern hemisphere of the planet.

 

1926 May 2012

Surveys for Cerulean Warblers in western Putnam County this spring were quite successful and suggest an upturn in the local population of this warbler.  The 50-mile driving route was conducted 20 May 2012 and resulted in a count of 60 Ceruleans, the most during the nine consecutive years that this driving route has been conducted.  Fifty 10-minute point counts were conducted for the 6th consecutive year during the period of 1926 May 2012, resulting in a total of 35 Ceruleans, also the highest number achieved by this method of surveying.  Interestingly, the Silver Point BBS, a route that begins with 10 stops in western Putnam County, resulted in a count of 8 Ceruleans, double the highest number previously counted along this route in its 40+ years of operation.

You may access a page with some of these results via the following link:

http://iweb.tntech.edu/sstedman/CERWwestputnamcotn.htm

 

29 April 2012
  • White-winged Dove in Bledsoe County, TN

Clyde Blum and Starr Klein discovered and photographed a White-winged Dove on Upper East Valley Rd., Bledsoe Co., TN, on this date; this species became the 313th species to be documented in the UCR and the 202nd species to be documented in that county.

 

28 April12 May 2012

The dates of four Regional Spring Bird Counts (SBCs) and two Regional Spring BirdBlitzes (SBBs) fell within this 15-day period.  Information about the specific counties where SBCs or SBBs were conducted, as well as the specific dates when they were conducted, may be obtained via the following link:

SBCs and SBBs in the UCR during 2012

All Regional SBCs and SBBs were dedicated to the memory of Barb Stedman; thanks to all the compilers of Regional counts for agreeing to this dedication.

 

1 April 2012

An incredibly early spring has taken place this year with myriads of spring migrants arriving far earlier than usual, a male Common Yellowthroat singing at the Fentress County Business Park, Fentress Co., TN, today being just one example of many that could be given.

Dogwoods reached full bloom by this date on the Highland Rim and were not much further behind on the Cumberland Plateau, at least two weeks ahead of schedule.

The time of Zugunruhe (nocturnal restlessness) will undoubtedly arrive early this year for many wintering species, causing them to depart the Region well before they usually embark for northern latitudes.

 

20 March 2012

Barbara Stedman, light of my life, died suddenly and unexpectedly today, a loss both personal and ornithological.  Barb regularly took part in Upper Cumberland bird counts, her party usually amassing the highest species total of all the parties out on a given day in a given county.  She took part in at least 128 CBCs, from her first count in Pensacola, Florida, during December 1974 to her last in DeKalb County, Tennessee, during December 2011.  She conducted 174 Breeding Bird Surveys from 19912011, mainly in Florida where her heart was most at ease in the cypress swamps and on the beaches of the panhandle.  St. Vincent Island NWR was the site in the Florida panhandle where she collected her most valuable data and where she spent many hundreds of strenuous hours avoiding the 'gators and counting the birds.  Barb and I long ago agreed to live by the credo that the most important goal of our lives would be collecting and archiving bird data; she eventually surpassed me in the dedication that she showed to achievement of this goal.

 

6 March 2012

Another enjoyable day in the field took place in Barren (and Allen) Co., KY, today, when Dave Roemer, David Brown, and I found 76 species around Barren River Reservoir.

 

1 March 2012
  • The Spring 2012 Season Begins Today
  • Early/Late Dates of Arrival/Departure for Spring 2012

The spring season starts on this day for the purpose of recording the birdlife of the UCR and every other region on the continent and probably in the northern hemisphere of the planet.

Once again I am keeping a list of the early and late dates of arrival and departure for migrant species.  I am particularly interested in obtaining late dates for winter residents. Here is a link to the page for spring 2012 dates of arrival and departure for migrant species:

 

29 February 2012
  • The Winter 20112012 Season Ends Today

Leap Day ends the winter season every four years (except during the special year 2000 when there was no Leap Day); any bird data you wish to share with me for the purpose of fleshing out the status of the Regional birdlife are most welcome.

 

25 February 2012
  • Brown-headed Nuthatch Observed in Warren County, TN
  • Owling Trip to Big South Fork

A Brown-headed Nuthatch was observed at a feeder on Mason Grissom Rd., Warren Co., TN, on this date by Mac McWhirter, providing the first record from that county with details about the site and date.  Doug Malone reported this species from Warren County about a decade ago but was unable to provide any details about the date or site of the observation.

An owling trip to various parts of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area was made on this mostly clear, calm, but cold night.  Prior to dark, we scouted roads to be sure they were open, finding at least 5 Red-headed Woodpeckers (my personal best ever in the BSFNRRA) and a bobcat (first ever in Tennessee for Dan Combs).  At dusk at least four woodcocks were heard courting and after dark several Barred Owls (and some Mountain Chorus Frogs) were heard, but no saw-whets could be induced to respond to the various renditions of their calls that we played (and played and played).  The constellations and a few planets were nice sidelights, so to speak, on this night.

 

1720 February 2012

The 2012 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) took place on the above dates.  Regionally, some GBBC data were collected as they were in past years to form Pooled Data Events (PDEs) in the following counties: Metcalfe, KY (SJS); DeKalb, TN (MJH, JuF, CDW, PJH); Putnam, TN (SJS, BHS, JaF); and White, TN (DAD, WB).  Results from the DeKalb and White County PDEs are now posted while results from the other two counties will be posted as time allows. Many thanks go to the few folks around the Region who continued to collect data in an accurate manner and to share it in a helpful format.

Here is a link to the main GBBC page:

 

6 February 2012

A late afternoon trip to southeastern Fentress County in the area of Catfish Farm Rd. turned up a Merlin of undetermined age and sex and three adult Greater White-fronted Geese.  The Merlin became the first to be documented for Fentress County and brought the county bird list up to 187 species; Merlin has now been documented in 18 of the 26 counties in the UCR.

After dark this visit was redirected to western Fentress County in the area of Wilder where  some searching took place for Northern Saw-whet Owls with good conditions for owling: clear, calm, cool (c. 35 degrees F) with a full moon.  A certain Barred Owl called during one of about a dozen stops spaced 0.3 mi apart from one another, and some calls that were probably those of a saw-whet were heard at the last stop, but these calls were unfamiliar, so they could not be assigned to a specific species.  A return to the site of the unfamiliar calls was made on a later date [20 February 2012], but no bird-produced acoustics of any kind were heard on that date, so the unfamiliar calls must go down as unknowns.

 

27 January 2012

I made another pilgrimage to Barren County, Kentucky, today and with Dave Roemer and David Brown saw 76 species of winter birds.  The day was cold (3941 degrees), but the birds were excellent as was the company.  I did not know that the color of the lores of juvenile Ross's Geese is the last field mark of that species to retain juvenile characteristics, but now I know it because I spent the day with Dave and David.

 

23 January 2012

Judy Fuson found 15 Greater White-fronted Geese and 1 Ross's Goose on Student's Home Rd., DeKalb Co., TN, today;  both species lingered for several more days, allowing Judy to obtain photos. Neither of these sightings provided a county record, but each species is very uncommon in the UCR, there being only 25 records of the former and 20 of the latter.  Thanks to Judy for submitting eBird check-lists including these birds.

 

13 January 2012

A copy of an important and fairly new book came my way over the holidays, and it contains a chapter on bird listing that blew my tightly adhering socks right off my tootsies. As you will have noted in the discussion provided (below) for 3 January, bird listing has been a topic I have been wrestling with for over a quarter century.  I believe listing to have importance  because it is the primary avenue along which most birders move into birding, but listing also acts in a negative way by encouraging focus on a kind of birding that is no more meaningful than a clipped fingernail.  I have posted this sentiment for over a decade at the following page of this website:

http://iweb.tntech.edu/sstedman/BirdingPhilosophy.htm

The new book to which I refer is Field Notes on Science and Nature, edited by Michael R. Canfield and published by Harvard University Press (2011).  The third chapter of this book is entitled "One and a Half Cheers for List-Keeping." This short essay by Kenn Kaufman, at one time the North American bird listing champion, pretty much summarizes the way that listing ought to be viewed by all but the terminally adolescent birders out there, of which there are, sadly and to the great discredit of birding, legions.

Here is Kaufman's wonderful opening pair of sentences:

"In serious studies of bird distribution, an annotated list of species detected is at the heart of an effective set of field notes.  In recreational birding, a list of species detected is at the heart of one of the most frivolous games [i.e., listing] ever devised [p. 49; emphasis added]".  Note that Kaufman is not saying that listing is one of the most frivolous games ever devised by birders; no--he is saying that listing is one of the most frivolous games ever (i.e., in all of history and presumably prehistory) devised by HUMANS, who have devised literally millions of such activities over the past 200+ millennia.

Comparing the well-known birding activities of conducting breeding bird surveys and conducting a Big Day, Kaufman admits that each is enjoyable, but the former activity provides "our best index of population trends," while the latter "produces nothing but bragging rights (p. 51)," about as thoroughly adolescent a reason for engaging in any behavior as a Homo sapiens can achieve.

Here is another passage from Kaufman's essay: "The negatives of an extreme list-chasing approach are probably evident to any one reading this volume.  Dashing around a county or state for a day, or around a continent or world for a year, in simple pursuit of a high species total, is not the most productive thing to be doing..." (p. 54).

Kaufman does see value in some listing efforts, as I do, saying that the "listing game has repeatedly provided me with a stimulating and effective framework for learning about the diversity and current classification within a group [of species].... I have no qualms about recommending this approach to anyone who is just getting started with a particular area of nature history: start a life list, start keeping day lists.  By the time you come to your senses and stop, you will have learned a lot" (p. 63; emphasis added).  The problem, of course, with many listers is that they do not ever come to their senses and stop; they just race recklessly onward, mindlessly ticking off species on their little lists, unable to see how vacuous their activity really is.

Three cheers for Kenn Kaufman! And for birders whose heads are not stuck in the listing sand (or elsewhere).

 

6 January 2012
  • Common Merganser Recorded in Cumberland County, Tennessee

A female-plumaged Common Merganser was found on Lake Tansi 6 January 2012 by Ed LeGrand, becoming the first of its species to be recorded in Cumberland County, Tennessee, which became the 11th Regional county with a record of this very uncommon species in the Upper Cumberland Region.  This species became the 238th to be recorded in that county.  This duck remained one more day before absconding for realms unknown.

 

5 January 2012

The Wayne County, KY, CBC, postponed to this date due to inclement weather (all-day rain) on the originally scheduled date, was conducted today with 75 species being detected by a group of happy birders, who enjoyed wonderful weather and pretty good birds.  Lots of cranes were sighted, two shrikes were found, and a good time was had by all.

 

3 January 2012

I began bird-watching in 1958 and became a serious bird lister in 1971.  For 15 years (1971-1985)  I engaged in most of the activities that listers engage in, amassing a list of about 600 species identified in the contiguous United States and about 300 species identified in Tennessee from 1978 to 1985.  During the latter year I also broke the Tennessee Big Year record, finding 280 species in the state in 365 calendar days (this record has since been eclipsed many times by other listers).

When I concluded my 1985 Big Year, I took stock of what I had accomplished as a lister in 15 years of listing, and I was troubled by how little of a meaningful sort resulted from all of my effort.  Consequently, I decided to change my bird-related activities somewhat to ensure that more of what I engaged in led to results with at least some productive value beyond mere ego-gratification.  I began to conduct more than a couple of Breeding Bird Surveys each year (and eventually reached a high of 13 BBSs conducted in one yearand I still conduct 7 of these annually). I also began to take part in more Christmas Bird Counts each year, eventually reaching the point of taking part in 10 per CBC season (reduced to 5 this season by ill health and other negative factors). I began to collect bird data for the purpose of writing summaries of birdlife in a single county (Putnam, Tennessee), two national parks (the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and the Obed Wild and Scenic River), and eventually a small region of Kentucky and Tennessee (the Upper Cumberland Region).  By making these and other changes, I feel I have moved from being an ego-focused lister to a more altruistically and productively focused birder, and I have encouraged others to make a similar change, usually with quite negative results, the addictive power of listing being far stronger than I had originally reckoned it to be.  I.e., I dropped listing cold turkey, and I thought it would be similarly easy for others to do, but not so.

For a long time I have felt that I was a lone voice crying in wilderness, so far as getting other persons with interest in birds to move from juvenile listing to more adult forms of birding activity.  I recently encountered a book that gave support to my contention that listing, obsessively conducted for its own sake, is a fairly meaningless activity, akin to the efforts of a zoo chimp to amuse itself with itself.  I will provide information about this fine find as time allows, so stay tuned [see entry for 13 January above].

 

2 January 2012

Species totals for the bird check-lists of the 26 Upper Cumberland Region counties were updated today. Increases in the species totals for 7 of the 10 Kentucky counties and 10 of the 16 Tennessee counties took place during 2011.  The county that increased the most during 2011, mainly as a result of a Fall BirdBlitz, was Bledsoe County, Tennessee, where the species total increased from 186 to 201.  Access the page of the website with these data via the following link:

http://iweb.tntech.edu/sstedman/BUCRCountiesListTotals.htm

For those interested in the status of the effort to map the distribution of Tennessee butterflies via the website entitled Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA), the following page of this website includes several tables that summarize information about the number of butterfly species documented for each of Tennessee's 95 counties as of the end of each year from 2006 to 2011:

http://iweb.tntech.edu/sstedman/ButterflyDocumentationTN.htm

 

1 January 2012
  • My Policy on Setting up Birding Trips

I am always happy to bird with other folks interested in birds; indeed, many of the most memorable hours of my life have been spent in the field with others.  I am still interested in joining with other birders to see what birds might be about, but I am no longer interested in being the one to set up all the logistics for a bird trip; I have done that many hundreds of times in the past, and, frankly, it is no longer something I want to continue to do.  So I ask anyone who would like to bird with me to be the one to carry the logistical burden; i.e., instead of taking the approach of asking me to call/email you when I am making my next birding trip, which puts all the burden of logistics on me for a trip that YOU want, please contact me about a potential bird trip by suggesting a date for the trip, as well as a time and place to meet and some idea of how long and to where the trip might be headed.  If I am free that day, I will agree to the trip; if not, I'll suggest an alternative.  From mid-January to early May 2012 I will be teaching on Tuesday and Thursday each week, so those are not good days for a trip; otherwise, the calendar is likely to be open, especially if you contact me a week or more in advance of the date for a potential trip.

 

 

Quick links to other sections of this website: