During any season, brisk movements and flashes of color are seen throughout all parts of the Preserve and greenbelts that range from Shiloh Road in the west to Naaman Forest High School in the east. The optimum place to observe the most species is in the area at 1787 Holford Road. Over 180 species have been recorded since the first entry in 1997 on the Cornell University eBird population site.
The Preserve has a number of diverse habitats that include acres of native prairie, a lush riparian forest with huge Chinquapin and Shumard oaks and plenty of understory biodiversity, a creek that flows year-round with fish and amphibians, and lots of forest/prairie edge habitat for the birds.
On some parts of the prairie habitat, the Society has erected several nest boxes. They are primarily for the Eastern Bluebird, but both the Carolina Chickadee and the Carolina Wren also nest in them. Please DO NOT disturb these nests. Please view any activity from afar using your binoculars. These birds live in our area year-round with no migration.
Listed below are some of the most frequently heard and seen birds in the Preserve. To see the entire list of birds spotted in and around the Preserve, go to the free website:
To see the entire list of birds spotted in and around the Preserve, go to the free website eBird.org/hotspots. Once there, type in Spring Creek Forest, then select Spring Creek Forest & Preserve (Dallas Co) PPWTo see the entire list of birds spotted in and around the Preserve, go to the free website eBird.org/hotspots. Once there, type in Spring Creek Forest, then select Spring Creek Forest & Preserve (Dallas Co) PPW.
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The Bluebird nest (dead grasses) will be built in March and an egg is laid each day (up to 4) but
all chicks hatch on the same day.
Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis
The wren’s nest is made of dead grasses and leaves and lay their eggs by early April. Incubation is 12-14 days then they fledge at 12-14 days.
Carolina Wren, Thryothorus ludovicianus
Chickadee nests are made of lichens. They usually have 4 eggs and are incubated for 11-12 days. They fledge in 13-17 days.
Carolina chickadee, Poecile carolinensis
The male cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is the only all red bird with a crest,
while the female blends into the woods with her yellow-brown feathering. She too has a crest.
The crow is approximately 16”-21”. These intelligent birds live in flocks and can be seen in the tops of trees. They often chase hawks and owls away.
American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
Another intelligent bird, the Blue Jay also chases hawks and owls making this a sentinel for other birds.
Blue Jay, Cyanocitta cristata
The Northern Mockingbird has about 200 different songs thus giving it the ‘mocking’ title. It has been known to mimic other birds, insects, amphibians, car alarms and other human sounds. They are usually at the forest edge and open areas.
Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
Thrashers are difficult to see but are often heard as they rummage through the underbrush looking for food. They too belong to the mimidae family (like the mockingbird).
Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum.
This woodpecker does not damage the trees. While they eat fruits, nuts, berries and tree sap, they consume huge quantities of insects such as spiders, caterpillars, beetle larvae, flies, etc.
Red-bellied Woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus,
This beautiful bird is most often found in open areas such as the Prairie Preserve. They are insectivorous.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, tyrannus forficatus.
The “Spotted Towhee and Eastern Towhee are both migrants to our preserve. They were not seen much the last two years, but the Spotted Towhee has again been observed in the fall of 2021.” Towhees forage on the ground in the forest. Their loud noise is often mistaken for a squirrel.
Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus.
Mallard ducks can be seen in Spring Creek dipping their heads. In this manner they eat invertebrates, fish, plants, and amphibians. When on land they eat grains and plants. The males and females look nothing alike! The female mallard is a mottled brown with and orangish bill while the male sports a brilliant green head.
Male Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos.
Female Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos.