Northern Cardinal - Passerine
Article, Photography and Research by Curtis and Norma Beaird
In February 2012, we participated in Cornell University's Great Backyard Bird Count. A few years before, we had always enjoyed photographing the spectacular shorebirds on Tybee Island, Georgia on the North Beach and at the Tybee Marina.
However, the experience with the 2012 Great Backyard Bird Count sealed the deal for complete fascination with God's beautiful winged creatures.
Looking back over the last year and the years before, we decided to count the species that we have photographed, especially within the last year. What we found was utter joy and excitement. For many years, we knew that birds were all around us, but we had not paid attention with the expectancy that we do today!
Carolina Chickadee - Passerine
So, listed below are the species we have photographed under the titles of Nonpasserine and Passerine, which we will explain below, thanks to the most incredible book on birds, "Birds of Georgia", by Parrish, Beaton and Kennedy. Two more Georgia bird books that we can't live without are: "Birding Georgia", by Giff Beaton and "Birds of Georgia Field Guide", by Stan Tekiela.
According to "Birds of Georgia" by Dr. John Parrish, Giff Beaton and Gregory Kennedy, nonpasserine birds represent 17 of the 18 orders of birds found in Georgia, about 58 percent of the species in the state of Georgia. The book further states:
"Generally speaking, nonpasserines do not "sing". Instead, their vocalizations are referred to as "calls". There are also other morphological differences. For example, the muscles and tendons in the legs of passerines are adapted to grip a perch, and the toes of passerines are never webbed. Many nonpasserines are large, so they are among our most notable birds.
Passerines are also commonly known as "songbirds" or "perching birds". However, some passerines neither sing nor perch. The Passerines are the most numerous of all orders, representing about 42 percent of the bird species in Georgia, and nearly three-fifths of all living birds worldwide."
The birds we have photographed are located in the physiographical region of Georgia's Lower Coastal Plain, with the exception of the American Coot that was photographed in Georgia's Piedmont region.
Red-Bellied Woodpecker - Nonpasserine
Woodpeckers & Allies - Red-Headed Woodpecker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker
Hummingbirds - Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Kingfishers - Belted Kingfisher
Pigeons & Doves - Mourning Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Rock Pigeon
Gulls, Terns & Skimmers - Black Skimmer, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Ring-Billed Gull, Franklin's Gull, Herring Gull, Laughing Gull
Sandpipers, Phalaropes & Allies - Sanderling
Plovers & Lapwings - Killdeer
Rails, Gallinules & Coots - American Coot (photographed in the Piedmont region)
Kites, Hawks, Eagle & Allies - Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-Tailed Hawk
Bitterns, Herons & Allies - Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron
Pelicans - Brown Pelican
Storks - Wood Stork
Cormorants - Double-Crested Cormorant
Ducks, Geese & Swans - Mallard, Canada Goose, Hooded Merganser, Black-Bellied Whistling-Duck
New World Vultures - Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture
Brown Pelican - Nonpasserine
Tyrant Flycatchers - Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Phoebe
Shrikes - Loggerhead Shrike
Jays, Magpies and Crows - Blue Jay, American Crow
Swallows - Barn Swallow, Purple Martin, Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
Chickadees and Titmice - Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse
Nuthatches - Brown-Headed Nuthatch
Wrens - Carolina Wren
Thrushes - Eastern Bluebird, American Robin
Mockingbirds, Thrashers & Allies - Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher
Starlings & Allies - European Starling
Waxwings - Cedar Waxwing
Wood-Warblers - Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler
New World Sparrows and Allies - Chipping Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Dark-Eyed Junco, Eastern Towhee
Old World Sparrows - House Sparrow
Cardinals, Grosbeaks & Allies - Northern Cardinal, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Painted Bunting, Summer Tanager
Blackbirds & Allies - Red-Winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Boat-Tailed Grackle, Brown-Headed Cowbird
Finches & Allies - House Finch, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch
Wagtails & Pipits - American Pipit
Passerines - L to R: Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Northern Cardinal and Blue Jay
Over the last year, we have utilized the following books which have been invaluable in our learning about birds, their locations, behaviors and feeding habits. We constantly refer to these books for well-researched information. All of these books can be purchased through Amazon, their websites or a local bookstore.
Birds of Georgia - Dr. John Parrish, Giff Beaton, Gregory Kennedy
Birding Georgia - Giff Beaton
Birds of Georgia Field Guide - Stan Tekiela
The Sibley Guide to Birds - David Allen Sibley
Common Birds of Coastal Georgia - Jim Wilson
Birder's Eye View, Savannah & the Low Country - Diana Churchill
For the Birds - Anne Schmauss, Mary Schmauss and Geni Krolick
The Backyard Bird Feeder's Bible - Sally Roth
Our bird photography can be viewed here:
Copyright 2013, Curtis and Norma Beaird. All rights reserved.