[TN-Bird] Elizabethton Yellow-crowned Night Herons

  • From: Dnldhlt@xxxxxxx
  • To: bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 21:41:29 EDT

     SUN 10 APR 2005, around 8 am I saw a pair of Yellow-crowned Night-Herons 
fly to the known nest site at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in 
Elizabethton, Carter Co., TN.  I was surprised to see the nest site already 
held its 
two occupants.  The  four birds shared the tree for a few minutes before the 
resident male (the one not on the nest, anyway)  slowly walked out some limbs 
toward one of the newcomers, at which the newcomers left together heading 
generally downstream toward the Sycamore Shoals on the Watauga River.
     From there I went upstream about a mile to the Greenbelt Walkway near 
the old North American Rayon Plant.  At the memorial bench overlooking the 
shoals there I saw two more Yellow-crowned Night-Herons that left and returned 
several times, always leaving along a similar flight path into the woods and 
turning right.  Later that day I was joined by Rob Biller and Dianne Draper.  
drove to the other side of the river to investigate.  Walking into the woods 
of Sycamore Shoals Drive onto city property we found a few apparent 
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nests, and sighted the two Yellow-crowned 
Night-herons in 
the woods nearby.  We also saw a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers entering their 
nest, and two Red-shouldered Hawks that flew off calling loudly.
     I returned the next morning, MON 11 APR 2005, and saw one Yellow-crowned 
Night-Heron adding sticks to one of the nests while a second bird sat in an 
adjacent tree.  A third flew into the adjacent tree only to be rebuffed by the 
original occupant.  I later saw a single bird some distance through the woods 
apparently gathering a twig.
     I had hoped to also observe the Red-shouldered Hawks again, but didn't.  
Red-shouldered Hawks are uncommon in our local area, but several sightings 
have been made at this particular site over the last couple of years, (by 
and Tom McNeil, at least).  There is also at least one resident Blue Jay that 
frequently mimics the Red-shouldereds.
     I also observed a male and a female Wood Duck flying through the woods 
and landing in the tree branches.  I saw the female several times through the 
morning.  There are a number of natural tree holes throughout those woods.

     Later in the afternoon I also went to Sullivan Co. with Rob Biller where 
we observed at least two pairs of Green Herons at the known heronry at the 
Painter Creek embayment on South Holston Lake.  There were probably more, but I 
was too busy dodging traffic to search properly.

Don Holt
Johnson City, TN
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  • » [TN-Bird] Elizabethton Yellow-crowned Night Herons