August 6th, 2019

Birds of North Carolina

Bird watching is a popular hobby in America, and for good reason - birds are everywhere! Fortunately, anyone with a desire can watch them, whether it's for science, fact gathering, photography or just for fun. North Carolina is a good state to visit if you're a traveling bird enthusiast and on your way there, but if you already live there, then you're most likely familiar with the plethora of bird species that call North Carolina home. Some North Carolinians have the pleasure to simply glance through their window to see anything from the Yellow Warbler to the Buff-bellied Hummingbird.

Tundra Swan

Going inland a bit and North Carolina turns into a water foul paradise. The tundra swan is a beautiful sight to see, and hard to miss as it ranks as one of the largest birds in North America. It makes Lake Mattamuskeet it's winter hangout, a large yet shallow natural lake. The tundra swan is a beautiful solid white bird with a black bill and long neck, and is even more noticeable when they make their grand appearance in large numbers during winter, descending upon the waters from the frigid north.

Acadian Flycatcher

The Acadian Flycatcher population is doing very well over the entire state of North Carolina. Unlike a number of other Eastern forest birds, numbers of Acadian Flycatchers seem to be steady and not showing any decline. They are a small bird (smaller than a sparrow), and found primarily in hardwood forests, usually near water. Their length is about 5.5" to 5.7" - weight is 0.4 to 0.5 oz, wingspan is 8.7"-9.1". A cute bird with a rather energetic two-part chirping sound, and a pleasure to watch, especially during courtship when the male displays rapid aerial chases of the female through the trees. The nest is built by the female Flycatcher and is loosely made cup of grass, weeds, twigs and other plant fibers. The 15 species of this family were once all thought to be the same bird when first discovered in Acadia (present day Nova Scotia). The Acadian Flycatcher is an extremely maneuverable flier, an is able to hover and even fly backward.

Painted Bunting

Yes, the Painted Bunting is a flying plethora of colors. So beautiful in fact that there a several bright colors that cover it's head, breast, wings and tail feathers - royal blue head, red belly, green back and olive brownish wings and tail feathers. You might be lucky enough to see a painted bunting some day, so make sure to always have your camera close by!

State Bird of North Carolina

In 1943, North Carolina designated the northern cardinal as it's official state bird. The cardinal has always been a favorite among bird enthusiasts across America, and not just bird-lovers, but also popular among state governments. So popular in fact that 6 other state legislatures have named the cardinal as their state bird, including Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia and West Virginia.

Both the male and female cardinal are distinctly different in color, as the male cardinal is a bright scarlet red, while the female cardinal is more of a brownish color with a bit of reddish brown in the wings. Both are about the same size with a heavy bill.

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