I took part in the two Summer Bird Counts conducted recently by the Lee and Lois Herndon Chapter of Tennessee Ornithological Society in Carter County and Unicoi County on consecutive June Saturdays.
One thing I enjoy about participating in Summer Bird Counts is the prevalence of young birds. It’s only to be expected since the summer season is the time when most local birds build nest, lay eggs and rear young. Some birds got started with the business of raising young back in April and are already attempting second nestings.
This year’s counts reported a variety of young birds among the totals, including numerous Wild Turkey poults, as well as species as diverse as Ruffed Grouse and Chipping Sparrow to Northern Cardinal and Barn Swallow.
I counted birds on Holston Mountain in Elizabethton with Chris Soto and Robert Armistead during the Carter County survey. For the Unicoi County, I teamed with Gary Wallace and John Whinery to count birds in the community of Limestone Cove.
The Carter County and Unicoi County Summer Bird Counts are the only surveys conducted during the summer in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Christmas Bird Counts are more common and include the long-running Bristol CBC and more recent surveys such as the Glade Spring CBC and Shady Valley CBC.
In next week’s post, I will explore the results of the counts in more detail. You might very well be surprised what birds can be found in the region. I know I always am!