Eureka Nature

For posting information about natural history events in and around Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Five local breeders on the Audubon Watchlist

Five species that breed locally have been placed on the Audubon Watchlist, at the less critical level. These birds have population trends that are of concern and are under stress from a variety of factors.

The birds are:

Blue-winged Warbler, a common breeder at Lake Leatherwood, usually found in the meadows along the Leatherwood Trail, and also in the overgrown glade habitat behind the Forestry Office and down the trail behind their dozer parking space.

Kentucky Warbler, one of the common (!) breeders at Lake Leatherwood. I guess we have the perfect habitat. I can usually find half a dozen territories in four hours, probably more if I set my mind (and feet and ears) to it.

Prairie Warbler, which we've had one or two of most years. This past year I've been finding them in a new area, and there seems to be a lot of similar habitat at the Lake. They my actually be thriving there.

Wood Thrush, common at Lake Leatherwood, and very common in town (Eureka Springs, AR) where some of the locals call it the eternity bird, for it's haunting eerie calls in the morning and evening.

Worm-eating Warbler, less commonly seen, but always present during breeding season. I found one last Sunday. Very much a skulker, but I've read in older research that they were one of the most common woodland birds in the Ozarks. Population decline has raised a flag.

Two other species are seen regularly and breed in the area, Prothonatary Warblers, which I've found easier to find around the Houseman Access, and Cerulean Warblers, which we see in migration at Lake Leatherwood, and which are probably breeding there below the Dam, but I don't survey that area regularly. Here's a project for some interested person.

Dickcissels are also on the list, which seemcommon in the flatlands on the way to Fayetteville, and in the Arkansas River Valley, but like most grassland species they are suffering from habitat loss.


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