Date: 4/29/18 4:38 pm
From: Barry Haas <bhaas...>
Subject: Re Low-to-Ground Nesting Birds
Dear ARBIRDers,

Adding to Mitchell Pruitt's post about the White-eyed Vireo nest they found ~2 feet off the ground, many years ago during an Audubon Society of Central Arkansas field trip to Mount Magazine we managed to find several active Indigo bunting nests. We were on the summit trail trekking to the highest point in Arkansas when an adult female Indigo started making what I can best describe as clicking or chipping noises- think of the sound a Geiger counter makes. But the clicks/chips began getting louder, and closer together.

Thinking the adult female Indigo might be signaling a nest nearby, we started looking for it. One member of the group spotted it about knee high just off the trail. We quickly peered into the nest to find one or two just hatched nestlings along with unhatched eggs. Not wanting to disturb the nesting Indigo or her offspring, we quickly continued on the trail to the summit.

With that fresh discovery in mind my recollection is we were able to find one more Indigo nest along the trail. This was many years ago before anyone could bring up "Everything You Wanted to Know, But Were Afraid to Ask About Species X" on a smart phone. Our field trip group would not have intuitively looked for the Indigo nest so close to the ground or so close to the well-used trail.

A side note- on our way home from the Arkansas Audubon Society Spring Meeting in Bentonville early this afternoon we were driving by Lake Maumelle, just west of Little Rock, as we neared home. Approaching the crest of a hill I suddenly spotted a juvenile killdeer in the middle of our lane. It was too late to stop, but fortunately the bird was right in the middle of our lane. I quickly braked and stopped, and backed up a little to a place on the side of the road where approaching cars in both directions could see our vehicle parked close to the road on the crown of the hill. Walking quickly back to the approximate area where I saw the juvenile killdeer, I didn't find any sign of it. But I did hear an adult killdeer constantly calling nearby. All we can hope is that lucky young killdeer fella or gal is safe and learned a valuable life lesson.

From the deep woods just west of Little Rock,
Barry Haas


On Apr 29, 2018, at 3:31 PM, Mitchell Pruitt wrote:

> To add to what Vivek posted, we found a White-eyed Vireo nest, quite low to the ground (~2 ft). Itís location was given away by one of the adults arriving with nesting material. A bit later, Alyssa found another. They were neat, and typical: well-designed baskets hanging below a branch.
>
> Mitchell
 
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