When we’re out in the woods deer hunting, we may see squirrel, fox, skunk, or coyote but most likely
we will see birds. They were not our primary objective
but they come with the territory.
If you see solitary birds, they will most likely be woodpeckers, grouse, thrush, or cardinal. When you
see flocks, the chickadee, junco, starling, robin, house finch, sparrow, black bird, or kinglet.
On occasion, you m
ay see a tanager, bunting, or goldfinch, due to their vivid color but the catbird,
mockingbird and jay you will probably hear first.
The bobolink, siskin, towhee, chat, vireo, and waxwing are there too, just not as often.
The bluebird’s fate is in our ha
nds, it would seem. As we cleared the forests, they left the small tree
trunk nests and moved into the 6 inch wooden fence posts. As the metal fence posts became so
popular, the birds lost out. As farming dwindles, the bluebirds are scrambling to find a
I’ve made hundreds of bluebird boxes to hang at about 4 feet on metal fence posts. This is a natural
height for them to nest and a fairly cat
The hole fits the bluebird and not the starling and if you place this box near water, yo
u may attract tree
swallows. This is a very beneficial insect eating bird also. Instead of a little round orange
blue ball, you get metallic green acrobats over the water. They are easier to attract than purple martins
and they perform the same
The dimensions of a bluebird box is 5 inches high, 5 inches wide, and 9 inches deep with the 1 ½ inch
diameter hole 6 inches above the floor.
We mentioned water earlier and we must see a few black duck, wood duck, mallard, teal, or m
on local ponds and lakes. You will also come to realize that the Canada goose gave up on that round
trip ticket and has decided to become a resident and nuisance now throughout Ohio.
When we spoke of woodpeckers, we didn’t go into much detail.
Around the house feeders, you will see
mostly the downy and red
bellied woodpeckers. The flickers and yellow
bellied sapsucker will be
doing just that
sucking sap out of thin
Nobody, but nobody, beats the pileated (Woody Woodpecker) woodp
ecker for size and woodland
entertainment. When you’re getting far enough away from people to find the pileated woodpecker, you
may also see an owl. Since they’re nocturnal, they won’t show you much unless they fly away.
The big owl (25 inches) is the g
reat horned owl (with the “ears”) the small owl (9 inches) is the Eastern
screech owl and it will have the “ear” tufts also. The barred owl is mid
size at 18 inches and has no ear
tufts. This is the “hoot” owl and it has a “barred” white check pattern on
the gray feathers. The call is
faced owl is the “monkey
faced owl” (aka
barn owl). They are white and brown and
found in barns.
As you know, owls are great rodent control predators and are protected from hunting by
The same can be said for hawks. They’re diurnal, great rodent predators and protected. The various
hawks would be the sharp
shined coopers, red shouldered and broad
winged in general. The smallest
is the kestrel (sparrow hawk) and the large
st and most common is the red
tailed hawk (aka
hawk). As cartoons go, Woody is the pileated woodpecker and Foghorn Leghorn is the chicken hawk.
Some other protected members of the supporting cast in Southern Ohio would be the turkey vulture in
charge of road kill and bald eagle, the best fisherman on the river along with the osprey, who passes
through here but nests in Florida.
I think we’ve covered most of the fine
feathered friends you’re likely to see locally and many you’re not
likely to se
May the forest be with you.
Dudley Wooten is the owner/operator of Wooten’s Landscaping and Nursery and can be contacted at 740-820-8210.