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Wednesday, July 01, 2015
 
 
About the Photographer

 

Marty Jones has been interested in bird photography ever since his first visit in 2004 to see the magnificent flocks of Sandhill Cranes at Jasper-Pulaski FWA.  Marty enjoys the challenges and rewards of taking a good bird photograph and meeting other people who share an interest in birding and bird photography.

Marty is a Regulatory Compliance Consultant for the Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives and lives near Terre Haute with his daughter Addison. Visit Marty L. Jone's Bird Photography Website. You'll see over 260 different Indiana bird species represented in the site including several rarities.

Bird of the Month Archives

Past Featured Birds of the Month

Baltimore Oriole, June 26, 2015

American Goldfinch, June 24, 2015

American Tree Sparrow, June 22, 2015

Bird of the Month? Week? Day?

Peregrine Falcon, June 2015

Chestnut-Sided Warbler, May 2015

Kirtland's Warbler, April 2015

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, March 2015

Pied-Billed Grebe, February 2015

Snow Bunting, January 2015

Northern Cardinal, December 2014

Winter Wren, November 2014

Northern Saw-Whet Owl, October 2014

American Bittern, September 2014

Chimney Swift, August 2014

Summer Tanager, July 2014

Canada Warbler, June 2014

Magnolia Warbler, May 2014

American Woodcock, April 2014

American Robin, March 2014

Great-horned Owl, October 2012

Bald Eagle, September, 2012

American Kestrel, June, 2012

American Robin, February, 2012

American Crow, January, 2012

Calliope Hummingbird, December, 2011

White-tailed Hawk, November, 2011

Long-tailed Jaeger, October, 2011

Warbling VIreo, August, 2011

Black-billed Cuckoo, June, 2011

Summer Tanager, May, 2011

Fox Sparrow, April, 2011

American White Pelican, March, 2011

Hooded Merganser, February, 2011

Backyard Birds of Indiana

Common Feeder Birds

Feeding backyard birds is often a lot of fun, but have you ever wondered what kind of bird is at your feeder? We're here to help! Thanks to the photographic efforts of Marty Jones, this page will help you learn the most common birds that visit our Indiana feeders.

Thanks for visiting and THANK YOU for feeding our feathered friends!

 Northern Cardinal  White-breasted Nuthatch
Northern Cardinal 
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
White-breasted Nuthatch
 Dark-eyed Junko  Brown-headed Cowbird Carolina Chickadee
Dark-eyed Junco
Brown-headed Cowbird
Carolina Chickadee
 American Robin  Downie Woodpecker European Starling
American Robin
Downy Woodpecker
European Starling
Mourning Dove Song Sparrow
House Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Song Sparrow

Bird of the Month

Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees

by Alex Forsythe


There are seven species of chickadees that breed in North America, but only two breed in Indiana: Black-capped and Carolina. Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees are very similar, and their ranges overlap slightly in Indiana, just south of my home so that I can see both birds in just a short drive. It can be difficult to tell the two species apart. The Black-capped has a shorter song than the Carolina, and it has more white wing-feather edging. Where the two species overlap, however, you may find hybrids that not only confuse you in appearance, but also in song.


Chickadees have a very sophisticated signaling system, using their call to warn others about the speed a predator is moving, and the level of threat posed by a predator. They also use different calls for different species of predator. This is done with the "dee" notes. The distinctive "chickadee-dee-dee" call sometimes contains one "dee" at the end, or may contain multiple "dee" notes at the end. Chris Templeton of the University of Washington studied over 5,000 recordings of chickadees using spectrographic analysis and found that there is a reason for the number of "dee" notes in the call ("Chickadees' alarm-calls carry information about size, threat of predator", Chris Templeton, UW Today, 2005). If there are flying raptors nearby, the chickadees use a soft, high-pitched "seet". If they see a stationary predator, they use a loud, wide-spectrum call. The call varies with the size of the predator, as well. The calls can be made in frequencies that humans cannot hear, with up to 23 "dees" at the end of their call to identify each species of predator.

An ongoing project by Ryan Smith and supported by Stockbridge Audubon Society in Fort Wayne involves studying Chickadees in 25 locations around northeast Indiana to determine how patch size influences occupancy, and how the surrounding matrix (urban, suburban, and rural) influences community structure. Ryan suspects that sites surrounded by increasing levels of urban development will result in fewer species of birds in those areas. With building density increasing (In Indiana the number of housing units increased by 10.4% between 2000 and 2010 and the housing density has increased by more than 7 houses per square mile), Ryan is concerned about the impact on the Chickadees.

Chickadees are thrifty and they plan ahead, and these skills help them survive in winter. They require the equivalent of 250 sunflower seeds a day. To make sure they are prepared when food becomes scarce, they store their food. One study found that one bird may store between 50,000 - 80,000 seeds in one autumn (Haftorn, 1959). They choose a variety of hiding places for their food, so if one of their stashes is discovered, the other food supplies will remain intact. Researchers have found that chickadees can remember thousands of hiding places, learning hundreds of new locations every few days ("Cognitive Processes and Spatial Orientation in Animal and Man, Ellen and Thinus-Blanc, 1987).

So the lessons to be learned from a chickadee are these: 1.) Understand and appreciate the dangers in life but keep a sunny disposition, 2.) Practicing and perfecting your power of recall is always a good thing, and 3.) Never put your seeds in one basket!
Common Indiana Birds

50 Most Common Backyard Birds of Indiana

1.   Eastern Bluebird 
2.   Indigo Bunting
3.   Northern Cardinal 
4.   Carolina Chickadee
5.   Black-Capped Chickadee
6.   Brown-Headed Cowbird
7.   American Crow
8.   Mourning Dove
9.   House Finch
10. Purple Finch
11. Northern Flicker
12. American Goldfinch
13. Common Grackle
14. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
15. Cooper’S Hawk
16. Sharp-Shinned Hawk
17. Blue Jay
18. Dark-Eyed Junco
19. Northern Mockingbird
20. Red-Breasted Nuthatch
21. White-Breasted Nuthatch
22. Baltimore Oriole
23. Barred Owl
24. Eastern Screech Owl
25. Great Horned Owl
26. Eastern Phoebe
27. American Robin
28. Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker
29. Pine Siskin
30. American Tree Sparrow
31. Chipping Sparrow
32. Fox Sparrow
33. House Sparrow
34. Song Sparrow
35. White-Crowned Sparrow
36. White-Throated Sparrow
37. Eupopean Starling
38. Brown Thrasher
39. Tufted Titmouse
40. Eastern Towhee
41. Cedar Waxwing
42. Downey Woodpecker
43. Hairy Woodpecker
44. Pileated Woodpecker
45. Red-Bellied Woodpecker
46. Red-Headed Woodpecker
47. Carolina Wren
48. House Wren
49. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
50. Summer Tanager