Date: 7/4/17 3:00 pm From: Joseph Neal <joeneal...> Subject: Western Kingbirds at Ft Smith, good nesting season
Bill and Toka Beall performed their annual survey of Western Kingbirds at Fort Smith today. I made the morning part. Excellent results: 49 adults, 14 fledglings, 17 currently active nests. We also saw a White-winged Dove carrying nesting material into an ornamental shrub. Two Common Nighthawks were perched on powerlines -- one lined up, the other sort of sideways. This survey dates to 2002, around when Western Kingbirds arrived.
I grew up in Fort Smith and remember 60 years ago. As the city grew and spread-out, old downtown with its industrial and warehouse district suffered steep decline. Lots of effort has gone into reversing this trend. Western Kingbirds and their interesting lives are now part of the revival. As Bill put it today, “They are bringing the West with them.”
It was fascinating to see how thoroughly Western Kingbirds have made old Fort Smith their own. And between sightings, there are numerous old homes, warehouses, hotels, offices, fancy brickwork of a bygone era, finished sandstone from an ever earlier time, and huge chimneys that have lots of possibility swift-wise.