Birds of Sicily Island Hills as Migration Proceeds

Posted: April 10, 2010 in Homepage

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Mid April brings opportunities for viewing the bird life within the Sicily Island Hills. Migratory birds, that is neotropical migrants, have begun their long journey north from the Caribbean, Central or South America. Situated along the western edge of the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain, the Sicily Island Hills which I often abbreviate SIH, can provide food and shelter to many of these passerines.
Before you visit the Sicily Island Hills, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the calls of the various songbirds which frequent this forest. With bird songs fresh in mind the woods will come alive and you will have a deeper appreciation of your visit. To hear some of the calls of these birds click on the Bird Guide link at left.
The Hooded Warbler is a great example of this presence and according to Mike Baranski’s research this warbler is abundant within the shaded confines of the Sicily Island Hills forest, especially but not exclusively in the central natural portion of the wildlife management area. With its distinct, striking yellow and black plumage, the Hooded Warbler is not easily misidentified.
On one occasion Mike was fortunate enough to observe, foraging at very close range, a family of Worm-eating Warblers. The steep stream valleys of the SIH are a great place to listen for the call of the Acadian Flycatcher. If you should happen to be within range of the Pileated Woodpecker, you will never forget the piercing sound of its call.
What’s not to love about the Louisiana Waterthrush? Perhaps its not as colorful as a Northern Cardinal or an Eastern Bluebird, but it is perfectly suited to the habitat of Big Creek in the SIH. The primary body of water within the Sicily Island Hills features many shallow gravelly pools along its winding course much to this birds delight.
Learning about the unique behavior of birds is interesting and helps in your efforts to locate them. The Black and White Warbler invests its time in the lower levels of the forest as it forages for food. Look for it amongst tree trunks and leaf litter of which the Sicily Islands Hills just happens to supply a copious amount.
Catfish ponds north of the Sicily Island Hills may be responsible for sightings from the wildlife management area of Bald Eagles. Mike Baranski told me of an encounter he had one day with a pair of juvenile eagles locking talons in flight.

More soon to follow…


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