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Saturday, May 23, 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.

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

Chestnut-Sided Warbler

by Alexandra Forsythe

I love this photo, mostly because of the memories and emotions that accompany it. This little Chestnut-sided was one of the happiest birds I've encountered. It was early morning and I had just finished my chores. I decided to celebrate and reward myself with a quick walk around the yard before diving into my textbooks. The weather was perfect. The sun was shining brightly, and there was a slight breeze. I soon found that I was not the only one celebrating. In front of me, this warbler seemed to be dancing in celebration, not even stopping for a bite to eat. His bright eyes and happy demeanor brightened my day more than the sunshine. We celebrated together for a while, reveling in the perfect day. He made me smile from ear to ear then, and I still smile every time I look at his photo.


When gathering together photos to use for Alexandra's Outreach (our series of programs for Amish, public and private schools at Limberlost State Historic Site), this was the first photo I chose. This little bird deserved to be admired for his wonderful attitude, and I hoped he would bring the students joy. He has. The children enjoy hearing about him and learning about the many ways he and our other feathered friends help us. After the program, most of the children want to learn more about the ways they can help birds and their habitats. I can think of no better tribute to the little bird that outshone the sun!

We are fortunate to see Chestnut-sided Warblers in Indiana. It is rumored that they were rarely seen during the lifetime of John James Audubon; people believe that Mr. Audubon only saw one once.

For your best chance of spotting the Chestnut-sided, look for them in overgrown shrubs and bushes at the edge of a woods. To determine when to start searching for them in your area, you can use this animated map that tracks the Chestnut-sided Warbler's movements: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/occurrence/chestnut-sided-warbler/. You'll note that their migration patterns differ in spring and fall. In the spring, they approach from Texas. When they head south, they travel further east, hugging the coastline into Florida.

The Chestnut-sided has other interesting behaviors, as well. They have two styles of song: accented-ending and nonaccented-ending. According to a study done by the University of Massachusetts ("Geographic variation of song form within and among Chestnut-sided Warbler populations", Byers 1996) the type of song depends on the bird's location and mated status.  Accented-ending songs are used when the male is stationary, securely within his own territory or when interacting with females. The unaccented song is used when the bird is near the border of the territory, near other males, or when the bird is in motion. Of course, males singing only unaccented songs had difficulty attracting mates.

Additional interesting behaviors are displayed during courtship. In December of 1965, the Wilson Bulletin discussed the results of a research project that studied the courtship behavior and territorial defense of Chestnut-sided Warblers compared to that of Redstarts, Yellow Warblers and Black-throated Green Warblers ("Comparative ethology of the Chestnut-sided Warbler, Yellow Warbler and American Redstart", Ficken 1965). There were several differences in behavior among the species, and the Chestnut-sided particularly stood out. While the other warblers had frequent territorial disputes, male Chestnut-sided Warblers were more friendly and sociable. They were observed feeding closely together - as little as ten feet apart - even while establishing territories in the spring. When a territorial dispute did occur, their actions were very different from those of the other warblers. While the other warblers had an intense, ritualized pattern of behavior involving circling, chasing, displaying and sleeked postures to chase away opponents, Chestnut-sided Warblers seemed to be more civilized. The male that was defending the territory rarely initiated a chase. Instead, the invader would realize he had trespassed and voluntarily fly away, while the original owner pursued the trespasser only to the spot where the invader had been perched. It's as if the owner of the territory politely told the invader that he was sitting in his chair, the invader apologized and vacated the seat, and the owner simply reclaimed his chair. 

I must say that the results of the study didn't surprise me. Chestnut-sided Warblers always seem cheerful, so their civility even when defending their territory fits their happy-go-lucky attitude. 

On your next perfect day, head outside and celebrate with a Chestnut-sided Warbler. You'll be glad you did!

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