As Arkansas braces for one more spherical of snowfall and temperatures dip beneath 0 levels, the age-old previous time of chicken watching is bringing pleasure to river valley residents. Dr. Ragupathy Kannan, professor of ornithology on the College of Arkansas – Fort Smith, shared some perception into the sorts of birds residents can anticipate to see within the snow and methods to assist these feathered pals keep fed throughout this uncommon climate.
Most notable within the winter panorama are slate-colored Juncos. These small, peppy birds will be seen hopping in flocks underneath bushes, Kannan defined. “Juncos are generally known as snowbirds since they present up with the primary snow.”
Snowbirds, together with native staples like American Robins, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, and Tufted Titmice take pleasure in black-oil sunflower seeds, Kannan stated, particularly when heavy snowfall makes it harder to search out meals. “These sunflower seeds are stuffed with fat and carbs that maintain the birds heat, and Blue Jays are at all times drawn to shelled peanuts – unsalted, please!” To lend an additional hand, be certain birdseed is unfold on exhausting surfaces, in chicken feeders, or on trays, so the seeds don’t sink beneath the snow.
Different winter birds embrace yellow-bellied sapsuckers, white-throated sparrows, and short-eared owls. “The owls are particularly enjoyable to observe as a result of they even fly about in daytime,” Kannan stated. River Valley residents can spot short-eared owls in open grassy areas, particularly close to Charleston and within the Fort Chaffee space.
As for a really astounding chicken to search for, Kannan stated, “A Snowy Owl would completely create a sensation since they’re uncommon thus far south, however they’ve proven up in Tulsa and surrounding areas, so it’s potential.” Pink Crossbills may also make a pleasant look when the temperatures drop.
Kannan recommends Allaboutbirds.org, Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s one-stop-shop for bird-watchers who need to develop their data. And for individuals who’d wish to take a notice from Kannan’s ornithology courses, eBird.org accounts are free to customers who wish to report chicken observations and share photos of their findings. “eBird is Cornell’s vastly well-liked international citizen science database to report chicken observations for the scientific neighborhood,” Kanan defined. “It’s a wonderful (and enjoyable to make use of!) portal for importing checklists, photographs, audios, and even movies. It robotically retains observe of the variety of species you’ve seen, your birding areas, your month-to-month and yearly progress in birding, and extra.”
For a glimpse into ornithological examine at UAFS, Kannan’s college students’ research of Roseate Spoonbills and different birds from Alma wastewater therapy plant and Satan’s Den State Park within the native area can be found on-line, as are samples of audio and photographs from examine overseas journeys he led by means of Caye Caulker and Crystal Paradise Resort in Belize.
To inquire about finding out with Dr. Kannan, and to study extra about biology levels at UAFS, go to: https://uafs.edu/jointhepride-stem