A rich bird biodiversity depends on the vast complexity of forest structure. Tree species have varying heights, leaf characteristics, and seed production, and each bird species finds its own niche within a wide array of microhabitats, or smaller habitats, within large habitats. Some birds forage among tree leaves, while other scour the bark of trunks and limbs. Some species forage only in the tree tops, while others only at lower heights. Different bird species find suitable nesting sites from the ground up to the tops of trees, either in cavities within the tree or nestled at the base of two branches. Here are a few of the birds you will see in the woodlands at Duke Farms:
Red-bellied woodpeckerMelanerpes carolinus
Food web role: Eats fruits, nuts and tree insects. Sometimes eats small amphibians and birds. Eaten by hawks and domestic cats.
Habitat: Oak-hickory, pine-oak, and maple forests, but is adaptable if other mature trees are present.
Did you know? Its toes are specially adapted for hanging on the side of a tree or upside down while feeding and drumming.
Wild turkeyMeleagris gallopavo
Food web role: Eats acorns,nuts, fruits, and seeds and a few insects and salamanders.Eggs eaten by many mammals. Humans are the major predator.
Habitat: Mixed deciduous forests interspersed with clearings, foraging on the ground and roosting in trees.
Did you know? It can run up to 29 MPH and fly up to 55 MPH.
White-breasted nuthatchSitta carolinensis
Food web role: Eats insects, acorns and seeds. Eaten by small hawks and owls.
Habitat: Favors mature deciduous or mixed deciduous/coniferous forests and is common in residential areas.
Did you know? Its common name comes from its habit of hitting nuts with their sharp bill to “hatch” out the seed from inside the shell.
Pine warblerDendroica pinus
Food web role: Eats insects,mostly caterpillars. Regularly eats seeds and fruits. Eaten by raptors, especially sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks.
Habitat: Pine and pine-hardwood forests. Nests in the tops of mature pines.
Did you know? This bird’s scientific name describes where it lives: “dendron” = tree, “oicos” = home, “pinus” = pine tree.
Black-capped chickadeePoecile atricapillus
Food web role: Eats caterpillars, spiders, other insects, berries and seeds. Eaten by larger birds of prey, especially sharp-shinned hawks and eastern screech owls.
Habitat: Lives in open woods and woodland edges. Prefers to nest in birches or other “softwood” trees.
Did you know? It calls out its own name, “chick-a-dee-dee-dee.”