Local birds are fledging and moving now, so an update on several topics that I have written about in the last month or so seems appropriate.
The Mississippi kite pair off Alexander Road has successfully fledged at least one chick. There have been reports of a possible second chick, but that has not been confirmed yet to my knowledge. There also have been reports of additional adult birds, suggestive of other nesting in the same area.
Recent heavy rains have raised the water levels of area reservoirs and smaller ponds, effectively eliminating shoreline and exposed mud. Consequently, habitat for shorebirds and dispersing larger waders is virtually nonexistent now. Reports of the larger waders have been meager, with only one report of white ibis and little heron received thus far. The area will need a lapse in rain for a few weeks to allow better habitat to develop. Don’t forget to let me know if one of these birds turns up in your area.
Sightings of hummingbirds at feeders is on the rise as local and migrating individuals stake out easy food sources. At my home, I am hearing constant chattering chase calls and seeing dueling birds spiraling into the air. It doesn’t seem anyone is getting to the feeder, but they must be, because they are hanging around. Look for numbers to grow through this month and into September.
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Two times turned out to be the charm in my chase for the Eurasian collared dove. I returned last Saturday to the residence in Starmount and after a one- hour wait was rewarded with two doves cautiously coming into the feeders. Over two visits I had logged about 105 minutes in a chair on the deck that is normally not occupied. I finally moved to a chair where the hosts normally sit and the birds showed up in less than five minutes. Sometimes a deviation from the norm is enough to spook wildlife, and I think that may have been the case here. I also received photos of Eurasian collared doves at a residence off Archdale Road, so there are more in the area.
Taylor Piephoff is a naturalist with an interest in the birds and wildlife of the southern Piedmont: PiephoffT@aol.com