Friday, February 28, 2003

West Virginia Bird Highlights (June-August 2002)

The following excerpts are from the Appalachian Region nesting-season report edited by Robert C. Leberman and published in North American Birds (Volume 56, Number 4, Pages 435-437):

Tricolored Heron.--One on the Shenandoah River, Jefferson County, 31 July-6 August (Matt Orsie, John Trapp, and other observers) “provided a first State record of the species.”

American Wigeon.--One on the Ohio River at Blennerhassett Island, Parkersburg, July 20 (Jon Benedetti, David Esker, & John Tharp) was “unusual.”

Northern Harrier.--Sightings from Logan, Boone, and Grant counties (Ron Canterbury) were suggestive of increased numbers “after years of low population levels.”

Black-billed Cuckoo.--Present in “good numbers” in southern WV (Ron Canterbury).

Yellow-billed Cuckoo.--Present in “good numbers” in southern WV (Ron Canterbury).

Whip-poor-will.--It “seemed to be recovering from recent lows in s. West Virginia,” with 15 reported from Raleigh, McDowell, and Wyoming counties (Ron Canterbury).

Red-breasted Nuthatch.--Nesting birds were considered “’very common’” at Cranberry Glades, Pocahontas County (George Breiding).

Golden-winged Warbler.--Southern WV continues to be a stronghold for this species, with 475 individualls tallied (Ron Canterbury).

Blue-winged Warbler.--185 individuals were counted in southern WV (Ron Canterbury).

Brewster’s Warbler.--8 individuals were found in southern WV, including 3 “found in a 2.4-km stretch on a mountain top removal site along Coal River Mt., Raleigh County” (Ron Canterbury).

Prothonotary Warbler.--A pair was seen feeding young on Blennerhassett Island, Wood County, on 20 July (Jon Benedetti, David Ester, & John Tharp).

Clay-colored Sparrow.--A “pair nested” in the Canaan Valley, Tucker County, for the second year in a row (Gary Felton).

Henslow’s Sparrow.--”A few . . . nested” in Tucker County, where “young were found” in late July (Gary Felton).

Indigo Bunting.--Reportedly down in numbers in southern WV (Ron Canterbury).

Bobolink.--Present ‘in good numbers” as far south as Logan, Raleigh, and Fayette counties (Ron Canterbury).

Purple Finch.--A pair at a feeder in Wood County, 7 & 14 July (fide Jeanette Esker) was well west of the higher ridges of the Allegheny Mountains.

House Finch.--It appeared to be increasing in Morgantown “after a decline of several years” (George Breiding), suggesting “recovery from the conjunctivitis epidemic.”


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