Results of a Bird Inventory in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Kentucky and Tennessee, May through July 2003

 

Under contract with the National Park Service, Barbara (BHS) and Stephen Stedman (SJS) conducted a bird inventory of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (BSFNRRA).  The inventory, focused on breeding and wintering species of this National Park Service (NPS) unit, covered the 2003 and 2004 breeding seasons, as well as the winters of 2003-2004 and 2004-2005.  The following species were given particular attention:

Short-eared Owl (winter)
Whip-poor-will (summer)
Red-headed Woodpecker (winter and summer)
Blue-winged Warbler (summer)
Golden-winged Warbler (summer)
Prairie Warbler (summer)
Cerulean Warbler (summer)
Swainson's Warbler (summer)
Louisiana Waterthrush (summer)
Kentucky Warbler (summer)

   If you have data about any bird species noted above or not noted in the table below for either the breeding or wintering season, even if from a year prior to 2003, please contact us at the following e-mail address with the particulars of the sighting, including as accurate a date as possible:

                sstedman@tntech.edu

    SJS (or SJS and BHS on dates denoted with an asterisk) conducted various surveys to inventory the breeding birds of the park on the following 25 dates during the 2003 breeding season: 16 May, 22-24 May, 31 May, 2 June, 4-6 June, 8-11 June, 13 June, 17-21 June, 23-24 June, 26 June, 8-9 July (*),15 July (*), 23 July (*) and 30 July (*).  Results of 36 point counts of 10 minutes each selected to reflect six habitats within the park, along with results of a 100-stop roadside breeding bird survey, are provided in the table below.

    The highest degree of breeding evidence noted during the season is also provided for all species. Codes for breeding evidence follow (a date is provided with codes for probable and confirmed breeding):

        Possible Breeders:

            X = present during the season

        Probable Breeders:

            T = territorial (present at same site on dates at least a week apart)
            P = pair
            A = agitated behavior (presumably near nest or young)
            C = courtship or copulation

        Confirmed Breeders:

            DD = distraction display
            CN = adult carrying nest material
            NB = adult building nest
            UN = used nest
            FY = adult carrying food for young
            BG = begging young
            FL = fledged young
   
           FS = fecal sac removed from nest by adult
            ON = adult on nest incubating
            NE = nest with eggs
            NY = nest with young

    A checklist of the birds of the BSFNRRA is available at this link:

   The following table summarizes bird inventory work in the BSFNRRA during the 2003 breeding season (mid-May to late July). Species denoted with a lower-case "x" in the second column were detected at some time during the season by one of several survey methods employed; if the name of the species is in brackets, the species is considered to be a migrant, not a breeder, in the park.

Species Miscell.
Birding
10-Min Pt. Counts (36) 5-Min BBS Stops (100) Breeding Evidence
  Stops Individuals   Stops Individuals
Wood Duck x FL 06-06
Ruffed Grouse x X
Wild Turkey x 2 2 X
[Double-crested Cormorant] x
Great Blue Heron x 1 1 X
Green Heron x X
Black Vulture x X
Turkey Vulture x 3 4 X
Cooper's Hawk x BG 07-09 *
Red-shouldered Hawk x 4 4 UN 06-17
Broad-winged Hawk x 1 1 X
Red-tailed Hawk x BG 07-08
Killdeer x 1 1 1 1 X
American Woodcock x X
Rock Pigeon x X
Mourning Dove x 6 6 8 9 X
Yellow-billed Cuckoo x 21 31 18 20 X
Eastern Screech-Owl x X
Barred Owl x 1 1 X
Chuck-will's-widow x X **
Whip-poor-will x 1 1 X
Chimney Swift x 4 4 X
Ruby-throated Hummingbird x 1 1 5 8 X
Belted Kingfisher x 2 2 X
Red-headed Woodpecker x X
Red-bellied Woodpecker x 7 8 4 4 X
Downy Woodpecker x 7 7 6 6 X
Hairy Woodpecker x 3 3 6 6 FL 06-04
Northern Flicker x 1 1 X
Pileated Woodpecker x 21 26 21 24 X
Eastern Wood-Pewee x 1 1 5 5 X
Acadian Flycatcher x 12 20 5 7 ON 06-13
Eastern Phoebe x 6 6 8 10 ON 05-31
Great Crested Flycatcher x 1 1 1 1 X
Eastern Kingbird x 1 1 T 07-23
White-eyed Vireo x 6 9 6 6 X
Yellow-throated Vireo x 6 6 3 3 X
Blue-headed Vireo x 8 9 4 4 CN 06-11
Red-eyed Vireo x 36 80 94 191 X
Blue Jay x 9 11 12 15 X
American Crow x 30 36 61 76 X
Purple Martin x X
N. Rough-winged Swallow x 5 5 ON 06-11
Barn Swallow x 1 3 ON 06-08
Carolina Chickadee x 9 10 13 15 X
Tufted Titmouse x 17 22 27 32 X
Red-breasted Nuthatch x NY 06-07 ***
White-breasted Nuthatch x 11 11 11 14 X
Carolina Wren x 11 13 17 18 X
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher x 12 12 12 12 X
Eastern Bluebird x 1 3 NY 05-23
[Swainson's Thrush] x
Wood Thrush x 8 8 15 17 FL 06-13
American Robin x 1 1 1 2 NY 06-09
Gray Catbird x 1 1 X
Brown Thrasher x 2 3 2 2 X
European Starling x 2 6 FL 05-23
Cedar Waxwing x 2 2 3 5 CN 06-17
Northern Parula x 13 18 8 11 X
Black-throated Green Warbler x 20 32 21 33 FL 06-13
Yellow-throated Warbler x 11 13 14 18 X
Pine Warbler x 7 8 19 22 X
Prairie Warbler x 3 6 7 10 FY 06-06
Cerulean Warbler x T 07-09
Black-and-white Warbler x 21 25 20 21 FL 06-08
American Redstart x 1 1 X
Worm-eating Warbler x 12 14 17 18 FL 06-11
Swainson's Warbler x 1 2 1 1 T 06-13
Ovenbird x 24 46 60 110 FL 06-13
Louisiana Waterthrush x 4 4 X
Kentucky Warbler x 3 3 X
[Mourning Warbler] x ****
Common Yellowthroat x 5 9 2 2 X
Hooded Warbler x 25 34 58 86 FY 06-11
Yellow-breasted Chat x 5 7 10 14 X
Summer Tanager x 1 1 X
Scarlet Tanager x 22 28 36 41 X
Eastern Towhee x 6 7 16 23 X
Chipping Sparrow x 1 1 1 1 X
Field Sparrow x 4 6 1 1 X
Song Sparrow x 1 1 T 07-08
Northern Cardinal x 10 10 5 6 X
Blue Grosbeak x X
Indigo Bunting x 18 31 58 86 X
Red-winged Blackbird x 2 7 FL 06-06
Eastern Meadowlark x X
Common Grackle x 1 2 FL 06-06
Brown-headed Cowbird x 2 2 3 5 X
American Goldfinch x 5 5 X
House Sparrow x 1 1 X

    The first record of breeding in the park.

    ** The first record of presence and possible breeding in the park.

    *** Credit for the discovery of the Red-breasted Nuthatch nest, the first for the BSFNRRA, goes to Frank Renfrow, whose generosity in sharing this information is also gratefully acknowledged; see photo below; details about this nest have been published in the following source:

        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.

    **** The first record of presence in the park.

Adult Red-breasted Nuthatch 9 June 2003 at nest site discovered by Frank Renfrow 7 June 2003 in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Scott County, Tennessee; this nest is the first for the BSFNRRA (and for the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee); photo SJS.

 

    All records of Swainson's Warbler in the BSFNRRA for the 2003 breeding season are provided in the following table:

Date Number Observer County
16 May 2 SJS Scott, TN
23 May 2 SJS Scott, TN
4 June 1 SJS Scott, TN
8/10 June 2 SJS McCreary, KY
13 June 1 SJS, EKL Scott, TN (partially duplicates 2nd entry in list)
18 June 1 SJS Scott, TN
20 June 2 SJS, TDP Scott, TN
23 June 1 SJS Scott, TN
23 June 1 SJS Scott, TN
24 June 1 SJS Scott, TN
8 July 1 SJS, BHS McCreary, KY
9 July 1 SJS, BHS McCreary, KY (partially duplicates 4th entry in list)

EKL = Edmund K. LeGrand; TDP = Trisha D. Poling.

 

   Thanks are due Leslie Smith for providing vital logistical support that enabled the roadside BBS to be conducted this year. Thanks are also due the NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program, especially Robert Emmott and Nora Murdock, for support in providing funding to accomplish this bird inventory of the BSFNRRA.