Northern cardinals, such as this male, were abundant on the Unicoi County Summer Bird Count, which tallied a total of 108 cardinals throughout the county. (Photo by Bryan Stevens)

By Bryan Stevens

The Lee and Lois Herndon Chapter of Tennessee Ornithological Society conducted the fifth annual Unicoi County Summer Bird Count on Saturday, June 16. Nineteen counters in five different parties found a total of 110 species.

I counted with Brenda Richards, as well as Brookie and Jean Potter, in the Limestone Cove community near the town of Unicoi. Our count area took us along Highway 107 all the way to the North Carolina state line.

Some of the exceptional birds on this year’s count included ruffed grouse, double-crested cormorant, bald eagle, hermit thrush, magnolia warbler and grasshopper sparrow. The most abundant birds included European starling (272), American robin (245), indigo bunting (141) and red-eyed vireo (136). A total of 18 species of warblers, presumably all nesting in the county, were found on this year’s summer count.

The total for this year’s Unicoi County Summer Bird Count follows:

Canada goose, 86; wood duck, 5; mallard, 33; ruffed grouse, 2; and wild turkey, 16.

Double-crested cormorant, 1; great blue heron, 7; green heron, 1; black vulture, 1; and turkey vulture, 30.

Sharp-shinned hawk, 1; Cooper’s hawk, 3; bald eagle, 1; red-shouldered hawk, 1; broad-winged hawk, 7; red-tailed hawk, 5; and American kestrel, 1.

Killdeer, 9; rock pigeon, 46; mourning dove, 70; yellow-billed cuckoo, 2; Eastern screech-owl, 3; barred owl, 4; chuck-will’s-widow, 5; whip-poor-will, 11.

Chimney swift, 26; ruby-throated hummingbird, 16; belted kingfisher, 3; red-bellied woodpecker, 10; yellow-bellied sapsucker, 3; downy woodpecker, 9; hairy woodpecker, 5; Northern flicker, 4; and pileated woodpecker, 11.

Eastern wood-pewee, 11; Acadian flycatcher, 33; least flycatcher, 3; Eastern phoebe, 45; and Eastern kingbird, 4.

White-eyed vireo, 4; blue-headed vireo, 27; warbling vireo, 2; red-eyed vireo, 136; blue jay, 76; American crow, 136; and common raven, 5.

Northern rough-winged swallow, 36; purple martin, 41; tree swallow, 85; barn swallow, 115; and cliff swallow, 115.

Carolina chickadee, 56; tufted titmouse, 57; red-breasted nuthatch, 2; white-breasted nuthatch, 6; brown creeper, 2; house wren, 30; winter wren, 2; and Carolina wren, 74.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher, 15; golden-crowned kinglet, 12; Eastern bluebird, 49; veery, 25; hermit thrush, 4; wood thrush, 24; and American robin, 245.

Gray catbird, 20; brown thrasher, 22; Northern mockingbird, 25; European starling, 272; and cedar waxwing, 18.

Ovenbird, 57; worm-eating warbler, 14; Louisiana waterthrush, 8; black-and-white warbler, 19; Swainson’s warbler, 1; Kentucky warbler, 1; common yellowthroat, 4; hooded warbler, 65; American redstart, 11; Northern parula, 24; magnolia warbler, 1; Blackburnian warbler, 1; yellow warbler, 3; chestnut-sided warbler, 14; black-throated blue warbler, 23; yellow-throated warbler, 10; prairie warbler, 2; and black-throated green warbler, 45.

Grasshopper sparrow, 1; chipping sparrow, 63; field sparrow, 15; dark-eyed junco, 29; song sparrow, 161; and Eastern towhee, 49.

Yellow-breasted chat, 4; scarlet tanager, 36; Northern cardinal, 108, rose-breasted grosbeak, 1; and indigo bunting, 141.

Eastern meadowlark, 7; orchard oriole, 8; Baltimore oriole, 1; red-winged blackbird, 85; brown-headed cowbird, 10; and common grackle, 84.

House finch, 9; American goldfinch, 70; and house sparrow, 9.

The Herndon Chapter of TOS is the only birding organization in Northeast Tennessee to conduct bird counts in every season of the year. For more information, visit Elizabethton Bird Club on Facebook.