Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Birding in the Back Woods


I was treated to quite a roundup of songbirds and other feathered forms during this morning’s cruise of the forest. In a tiny patch of canopy, a Red Bellied Woodpecker surveyed all from up on high. Beneath the red naped bird flitted a mix of Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, a Yellow Rumped Warbler, a skulking Brown Thrasher, a pair of Northern Cardinals (do they come any other way), and I swear …although I haven’t seen one before…and it is the wrong time of year …a Black and White Warbler as well!

In a recent dinner conversation, I brought up the fact I thought the Back Woods was a decent little birding spot. After detailing all the wonderful sightings I have had in the past couple years, my companions concluded I was selling the place short. That our little patch of woods in the midst of Tampa was actually a very nice little birding spot. I most definitely think they were right!

When you come visit our forest systems, some of the best times to see a diversity of bird species is early in the morning and often in the late afternoon after the break of the heat of the day. Birds can be spotted just about anywhere zooming in and around the wetlands, taking dust baths in the sandhill, and feasting on all manner of insects through out the canopy and shrubs in the flatwoods and hammock. Pause for a moment any point along the trail, listen and watch closely, and you will be surprised how alive the Back Woods is with bird life.

Some of the sightings I have had in just the past two weeks include: Great Horned Owl, Red Shouldered Hawk, Loggerhead Shrike, Black Vulture, Pileated Woodpecker, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, Grey Catbird, Yellow Rumped Warbler, Brown Thrasher, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wrens galore, and maybe even a Black and White Warbler!

Check out the Animal Species tab above for a list with more bird species spotted in the Back Woods and some non feathered inhabitants as well! Then grab your binoculars and head for the woods….the Back Woods at MOSI that is!!

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