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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Birds of the Adirondacks

In addition to all the mammals, amphibians, and reptiles sharing the Woodcraft with us, there are also many birds that call the Adirondacks home. Some birds are easily seen every day and others stop by occasionally. Others are always around, but take a keen eye to locate among the trees and brush.

One well-camouflaged bird that can be found around camp is the ruffed grouse (bonasa umbellus). The ruffed grouse's speckled brown color blends in well with the leaf litter on the ground in the forest. The grouse spends much of its time on the ground foraging through thickets. 

Photo courtesy of Adirondack Birds and Trails.
The ruby-throated hummingbird (archilochus colubris) is a spectacular sight to see feeding at the flower boxes on the Dining Hall. Interestingly, the ruby-throated hummingbird is dimorphic, meaning the males and females look dramatically different. The red throat is a trait only the male possesses. So if the ruby throat catches your eye, you know you're seeing a male.

Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Almanack.
Among the most distinctive and iconic birds found in the Adirondacks is the common loon (gavia immer). Also known as the great northern loon, this species can be seen and heard on many lakes around The Park, including Kan-Ac-To.

Photo by Larry Masters. Originally posted by The Nature Conservancy.
Any of these birds, as well as so many, many more can be seen on a daily basis. As campers spend time around Woodcraft and our nature program, they will learn to identify the various bird species. Hopefully with some luck and sharp camera work, we'll have some original bird photos to post this summer.

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