Sightings / bonus points


This aspect of the lab is designed to encourage students to become aware of the local avifauna outside of scheduled lab time. We want you to look for birds on your own. As an incentive, you can earn bonus points for additions to this list of bird sightings.

Rules for receiving bonus points

A point will be awarded to the first person(s) who submits a sighting of a new, free ranging, nondomestic, native or naturalized species outside of lab time (hearing a new species also counts). All submissions for a new species received before the sighting is posted will recieve credit. Students are allowed only one submission per day, and the submission must be made within 24 hours of the observation. If your sighting is a "rare" species or a species not normally seen at that time of year, you must also submit a photograph or have your sighting confirmed by a second independent observer. Each student can earn a maximum of two points per week (weeks restart on Monday) for sightings.

In addition, three points will be awarded to the first person to find the first active nest for each species (identified by eggs, chicks, prolonged incubation on nest, or by observing adults bringing food to nest).

A maximum of 25 points total can be accumulated for Sightings and Question of the Week answers for each student.

Sighting Form

Use the form below to submit sightings.

Your Name: Species: Location: Date: Sighting or Nest: Comments:

Species List

  Species Location Date Sighting or nest Comments Observer(s)
1 European Starling Cup a Joe 1/06 sighting What a voice Ted Simons
2 Eastern Phoebe Varsity Drive 1/06 sighting Puffed up for the cold Beth Stevenson
3 Yellow-rumped Warbler My Townhouse 1/06 sighting Mealworm feader Byron Levan
4 Northern Cardinal Williams Courtyard 1/06 sighting Female, dull brown body with orange bill, call similar to "pip" Carter Ricks
5 Eastern Towhee Crescent Ridge Townhomes 1/06 sighting rooting around under the bushes Courtney Behrle
6 Blue Jay Bragaw Residence Hall 1/06 sighting standing still in a bush Stephanie Krasteva
7 American Crow Bragaw Residence Hall 1/07 sighting Pair of crows; flew over building and perched in tree (call heard) Carter Ricks (1/07) and Byron Levan (1/08)
8 Turkey Vulture near corner of New Bern Ave and Buffalo Rd 1/07 sighting two eating somthing on the side of the road Courtney Behrle
9 Wild Turkey My Farm 1/08 sighting Flock of 24 hens! Chris Inscore
10 House Sparrow Brooks Avenue 1/08 sighting perched in tree Beth Stevenson
11 Dark-eyed Junco Campus Crossings Apartments off Tryon Rd 1/08 sighting They sure do love hopping around eating crumbs! Alexandra Morrison
12 Northern Mockingbird Withers Hall Courtyard 1/08 sighting Seen flying from the ground to a tree, allowing me to see the white pattern on the tail feathers Angie Rizzo
13 House Finch Nelson Hall, bordering Hillsborough St 1/09 sighting Perched in a tree by the bus stop Laura Lillycrop
14 Red-bellied Woodpecker Outside Bostian Hall 1/10 sighting Investigating oak trees, very active and switching trees Jenny Gough
15 Eastern Bluebird Wolf Village Apartments 1/10 sighting Saw a few flying from tree to tree in the open area between the various Wolf Village buildings Julie Savage
16 Canada Goose Raleigh, NC 1/10 sighting Four flying over Capital Blvd on my way home Chris Inscore
17 American Kestrel Small Ruminant Education Unit 1/10 sighting perched on a fence post Staphanie Krasteva
18 Carolina Chickadee Wake forest, backyard feeder 1/12 sighting Moving between feeder and tree cavity Jenny Gough
19 Pine Warbler Campus Crossings Apartments off Tryon 1/13 sighting Perched in the red maple oustide my window, showing off his yellow belly to the world Alexandra Morrison
20 Mourning Dove Sullivan Hall 1/13 sighting Perched on tree limb near railroad tracks Carter Ricks
21 Red-tailed Hawk Pullen Park 1/13 sighting On a tree limb Ryan Southard
22 Tufted Titmouse Lake Raleigh 1/13 sighting Flying from tree to tree Stephanie Krasteva
23 Fish Crow Lake Johnson 1/14 sighting Ever the pessimist, the distinct "cah-ah" of this bird never ceases to amuse me. I call him the "no no" bird! Alexandra Morrison
24 Peregrine Falcon Fort Bragg, NC 1/14 sighting Large falcon, light underneath, dark above. "Hooded" face. Soaring over agricultural field just off base. Byron Levan
25 Downy Woodpecker Bird Feeder 1/14 sighting Very vibrant red spot on the head Amanda Lafferty
26 House Wren Crescent Ridge Townhomes 1/15 sighting Flew between bushes. No white eye stripe Courtney Behrle
27 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Turlington Hall 1/15 sighting Nasal "mew" as call, red patches above and below the bill, yellow-ish breast, pecking on tree Carter Ricks
28 Red-winged Blackbird Centennial Campus 1/15 sighting male, flying from tree to tree Stephanie Krasteva
29 American Robin Turner House 1/16 sighting Saw 6 to 8 hopping around the ground on the side of Turner House Julie Savage
30 Hooded Merganser Fort Bragg, NC 1/16 sighting 4 males and 4 females Byron Levan
31 Palm Warbler Orlando, FL 1/21 sighting Right outside my house, exhibiting that distinctive, constant tail-bobbing Alexandra Morrison
32 Brown Thrasher Sullivan Hall 1/21 sighting looks like a brown mockingbird almost, scratching around in the leaves under the bushes Carter Ricks
33 Mallard Roxboro, NC 1/21 sighting 2 males, 2 females on farm pond Chris Inscore
34 Ruddy Duck Yates Mill Pond 1/21 sighting There were quite a few of them floating in the pond on this warm winter day Amanda Lafferty
35 Hermit Thrush Behind Metcalf 1/22 sighting Dull brown with redish tail and dark spotted throat/chest Angie Rizzo
36 Carolina Wren Umstead State Park 1/22 sighting distinctive white stripe above eye and yellow-ish breast Carter Ricks
37 Pileated Woodpecker Backyard in Wake Forest, tapping on a dead tree 1/23 sighting very vibrant red crest Jenny Gough
38 Red-cockaded Woodpecker Fort Bragg, NC 1/23 sighting Saw several. Heard calls. No white patch on back. Byron Levan
39 Great Blue Heron Raven Rock State Park 1/25 sighting Standing on the shoreline of Cape Fear River Beth Stevenson
40 Blue-winged Teal Fort Bragg, NC 1/26 sighting Four on a lake in Fort Bragg. Blue wing marking evident. Byron Levan
41 White-breasted Nuthatch Schaub Food Science Building 1/27 sighting White breast and face, blue back, black cap on head. Climbing up the side of a tree like a woodpecker Carter Ricks
42 Coopers Hawk Behind University Woods Apartments 1/28 sighting juvenile, puffed up for cold, sitting on branch Christine Zabel
43 Ring-billed Gull Lake Johnson 1/29 sighting Flying overhead near Avent Ferry Rd. Beth Stevenson
44 Great Horned Owl The Retreat in Cary, NC 1/29 sighting Heard its call at 1pm, went to investigate and fown the owl perched in a tree, possibly looking for prey during the snow. Carter Ricks
45 Bufflehead Lake Johnson 1/30 sighting Pair. Seen from the road while driving by. Byron Levan
46 Red Crossbill near umstead 1/30 sighting saw one red male in a tree, recognized by distinct bill Stephanie Krasteva
47 Brown-headed Nuthatch Dan Allen 1/31 sighting Saw it fly in front of me and perch on a tree near the creek at Dan Allen. It was singing but I was only able to identify it by sight Stephanie Krasteva
48 Wood Duck Umstead State Park 2/3 sighting In a filled ephemeral pond, flew when I got within sight. I Saw green head, red bill and crest Carter Ricks
49 Gray Catbird Village Green Apartments, Lake Wheeler Rd. 2/3 sighting Outside my friends window, screaming away! Alexandra Morrison
50 Red-shouldered Hawk Varsity Trailers 2/3 sighting circling over the trailers, calling loudly Beth Stevenson
51 American Goldfinch Thistle feeder at my townhouse 2/4 sighting Male and female Byron Levan
52 Brown Creeper Umstead State Park 2/5 sighting climbing straight up tree, could only be noticed when moving due to camoflauge Carter Ricks
53 Song Sparrow my townhouse 2/6 sighting chestnut cap with white stripe down middle, small white patch below bill outlined by a black patch on either side. No yellow above or in front of eyes. Byron Levan
54 Purple Finch near University Woods Apartments 2/7 sighting several pairs flitting from tree to tree in parking lot, singing. their heads were red all over, and the breasts of the males were reddish but not streaked. Christine Zabel
55 Red-breasted Nuthatch Pullen Park 2/8 sighting Looking for food next to a large group of robins. Entire underside was cinnamon colored so it was most likely a male. Stephanie Krasteva
56 Brown Pelican Jupiter, Florida 2/8 sighting flew over the beach Courtney Behrle
57 White Ibis Jupiter, Florida 2/9 sighting standing in a hotel parking lot Courtney Behrle
58 Ruby-crowned Kinglet Schenck Forest 2/9 sighting male, identified by small tuft of red on top of the head Stephanie Krasteva
59 White-throated Sparrow Rocky Branch 2/10 sighting Flock in the shrubs by the pond at the Pullen Park bridge, white eyestripe and throat. Carter Ricks
60 Field Sparrow Prairie Ridge Ecostation 2/14 sighting perched on a fence row Alexandra Morrison
61 Chipping Sparrow The Retreat in Cary, NC 2/15 sighting chestnut cap and white breast, foraging in woods behind apartments Carter Ricks
62 Double-crested Cormorant Fort Bragg, NC 2/15 sighting on an abandoned mill pond Byron Levan
63 American Bald Eagle Off of HWY 1 at the Deep River Overpass 2/16 sighting Large raptor, dark body, white head, white tail, 'Merica Byron Levan
64 Brown-headed Cowbird North Raleigh 2/17 sighting Seen feeding on the ground underneath a birdfeeder, noticed brown head and green/black body Stephanie Krasteva
65 Belted Kingfisher Umstead 2/18 sighting blue and white male, seen perched in a tree near the lake Stephanie Krasteva
66 Hairy Woodpecker Umstead State Park 2/18 sighting Looked just like a downy, except with a larger bill Carter Ricks
67 Northern Harrier Fort Bragg, NC 2/18 sighting Soaring over a drop zone at Fort Bragg, characteristic white patch at base of tail Byron Levan
68 American Woodcock Schenck Forest 2/20 sighting Saw and heard several males performing the courtship display during one of John Connor's annual walks Julie Savage
69 Common Grackle Sullivan Hall 2/21 sighting Flock roosting in trees and feeding on the ground Carter Ricks
70 Rock Dove powerlines just off highway 2/21 sighting Three or four perched next to each other Amanda Lafferty
71 Barred Owl Neuse River Greenway 2/23 sighting About 20 ft away from us while we were doing our first point count for our project Chris Inscore and Ryan Southard
72 Black Vulture Flying over Dan Allen Drive 2/24 sighting Alexandra Morrison
73 Northern Flicker near Trenton Rd 2/24 sighting perched in a tree, recognized by brown back and spotted underside, some yellow on tail Stephanie Krasteva
74 Redhead Cary 2/25 sighting male, seen swimming in a pond Stephanie Krasteva
75 Golden-crowned Kinglet Lake Johnson 2/26 sighting Heard low "zee-zee-zee" call before seeing the bird, saw gold crown and black eyestripe Carter Ricks
76 Winter Wren Lake Johnson 2/27 sighting became vocal when I got close to its nest in a pile of logs Carter Ricks
77 Loggerhead Shrike Tom Yawkey wildlife center 2/28 sighting White wing patch, slightly crescent shaped, large bill, dark eye bar, long tail. Byron Levan
78 Merlin Georgetown SC 2/28 sighting Perched on a powerline, similar body shape to a Kestrel but larger, slate gray wings, awesome raptor sighting! Chris Inscore
79 Roseate Spoonbill Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center, SC 3/01 sighting Large pinkish bird with unmistakable bill. Pictures if needed. Byron Levan
80 American Bald Eagle Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center 3/01 nest Active Bald eagle nest with hatchlings, pictures of adults tending nest available. Byron Levan
81 Eastern Screech Owl Tryon Rd. 3/02 heard heard the distinctive "whinny" as I was walking next to the woods behind my apartment Alexandra Morrison
82 Pied-billed Grebe Lake Raleigh 3/04 sighting Small brown bird with black ring on bill, dove underwater a few times. Carter Ricks
83 Common Yellowthroat Trenton Rd. 3/05 sighting Seen perched on a fence post Stephanie Krasteva
84 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher North Raleigh 3/06 sighting blue male, seen feeding under a bush Stephanie Krasteva
85 White-breasted Nuthatch Raleigh, neighbors back yard 3/09 nest Carrying nest material into a man-made nesting box, not an optimal location. I will be surprised if they are successful (same lady takes care of a feral cat colony). Byron Levan
86 Swallow-tailed Kite Everglades National Park 3/09 sighting long black forked tail, white head and body Carter Ricks
87 Osprey Flamingo, Everglades National Park 3/10 nest There were three nests in the area and one had a chick Amanda Lafferty
88 Blue-footed Booby Galapagos Islands 3/10 sighting The bird I've most wanted to see throughout my whole life, what a character. Alexandra Morrison
89 Ring-necked Duck Lake on Univ. of Richmonds Campus 3/11 sighting Saw several swimming around the lake Julie Savage
90 Wood Stork Everglades National Park 3/11 sighting hundreds nesting in trees around the various ponds, brown wrinkled head with long curved bill Carter Ricks
91 Red-shouldered Hawk North Raleigh 3/11 nest Very noisy pair seen flying in area around the nest and one flew food to the nest (I think it was a mouse) Amanda Dougherty
92 Muscovy Duck Lake on University of Richmond's campus 3/12 sighting Three individuals swimming around the lake Julie Savage
93 Little-blue Heron Coral Gables, Florida 3/12 sighting Picking fish out of a small pond Amanda Lafferty
94 Laughing Gull Perdido Beach, AL 3/12 sighting Soaring over coastal inlet area, characteristic call. Beth Stevenson
95 Chuck-will's Widow Everglades National Park 3/13 sighting Same look as Whip-poor-will but with different wing pattern, perched on branch while spotlighting trees at night. Carter Ricks
96 Anhinga New Orleans 3/14 sighting seen perched on a tree trunk in a wetlands preservation area Stephanie Krasteva
97 Great Egret New Orleans 3/15 sighting seen preening near Mississippi River Stephanie Krasteva
98 Horned Grebe Orange Beach, AL 3/16 sighting In coastal bay area Beth Stevenson
99 Cedar Waxwing Gorman Street Townhomes 3/17 sighting Perched on a branch in the rainy weather Beth Stevenson
100 Willet Wrightsville Beach 3/18 sighting Walking along sand near the ocean Laura Lillycrop
101 Eastern Meadowlark Franklinton, NC 3/20 sighting Sitting atop a haybale in a fescue field Chris Inscore
102 Red-headed Woodpecker Umstead State Park 3/20 nest Flew into hole in dead tree, poked head out and flew away a couple minutes later Carter Ricks
103 Swamp Sparrow Raleigh 3/20 sighting Seen feeding at a bird feeder Stephanie Krasteva
104 Purple Martin Halifax, NC 3/22 nest Neighbors have occupied Martin boxes in their yard Carter Ricks
105 Red-necked Grebe Falls Lake 3/22 sighting Seen from bridge on Old Weaver Trail with Ed Corey Chris Inscore
106 Northern Waterthrush Schenk Forest 3/23 sighting Singing along the stream. Distinct song. Byron Levan
107 Palm Warbler Schenk Forest 3/24 sighting Byron Levan
108 Carolina Wren The Retreat in Cary, NC 3/27 nest Nest in a pile of wood behind friends apartment, pair guarded it and often went down inside the pile. Carter Ricks
109 Horned Lark Mount Prospect, IL 3/28 sighting Seen at backyard birdfeeder Stephanie Krasteva
110 Eastern Bluebird Halifax, NC 3/29 nest Pair beginning to nest in a bluebird box Carter Ricks
111 Clay-colored Sparrow Mount Prospect, IL 3/30 sighting seen feeding at backyard feeder Stephanie Krasteva
112 Green Heron Rocky Branch 4/2 sighting At the pond near the bridge in Pullen Park Carter Ricks
113 Killdeer Franklinton, NC 4/2 sighting Multiple birds calling and flying over a pond while I was fishing. Chris Inscore
114 Barn Swallow Franklinton, NC 4/5 sighting Multiple individuals seen flying to and from large barn. Was able to get a close look at the cinnamon colored chest. Chris Inscore
115 Black and White Warbler Umstead State Park 4/6 sighting Gleaning on branch up in the canopy Carter Ricks
116 Common Goldeneye Arlington, VA 4/6 sighting Pair seen swimming in a lake Stephanie Krasteva
117 Northern Parula Fort Bragg, NC 4/6 sighting Singing it's characteristic trill from high up in the canopy. Visually, a tiny bird, bluish wings and head, yellow breast and throat. White belly, yellow wash on back. Byron Levan
118 Sharp-shinned Hawk Schenk Forest 4/7 sighting Looked like a small Coopers Hawk. Alexandra Morrison
119 Carolina Chickadee Birdhouse in a friends backyard 4/7 nest I saw the chickadee go in and out of the birdhouse a few times and on closer inspection there was a nest in there! amanda Lafferty
120 Canada Goose Lake Johnson and Pond next to Wolf Village Apartments 4/8 nest Laura Lillycrop and Julie Savage
121 Northern Mockingbird Campus Crossings 4/9 nest She is building her nest right next to where I park my car. She is not happy with my intrusion! Alexandra Morrison
123 American Robin Campus Crossings Apartment 4/10 nest A pair are building a nest in the red oak outside my building. They use mud and clay which is really cool! Alexandra Morrison
124 Northern Cardinal Pine Knoll Apartments 4/10 nest Female building nest in a tree outside my apartment Laura Lillycrop
125 Herring Gull Edenton, NC 4/11 sighting Pinkish legs and mostly gray back with black wing tips. Seen at the beach. Stephanie Krasteva
126 Wood Duck Roxboro, NC 4/12 nest Got an awesome picture of a Wood Duck hen sitting on her nest inside one of my nest boxes! Chris Inscore
127 Greater Black-backed Gull Edenton, NC 4/12 sighting Seen with Lesser Black-backed, larger size and thicker bill. Stephanie Krasteva
128 Blue Jay Rose Garden 4/14 nest Noticed it when I saw it carry leaves and other nesting materials up into the tree. Ryan Southard
129 Mallard Adams Farm Lake, Greensboro 4/17 nest Female sitting on nest behind a row of trees near the lake Laura Lillycrop
130 Song Sparrow Central Campus and Gaithersburg, MD 4/21 and 4/22 nest Building nest in a tree (Stephanie), Nest outside balcony (Beth Stevenson) Stephanie Krasteva and Beth Stevenson
131 Mute Swan Adams Farm Lake, Greensboro, NC 4/22 nest Female seen incubating amongst vegetation in a small part of the lake area. Male was nearby guarding from two Canada Geese Laura Lillycrop
132 Indigo Bunting Roxboro, NC 4/26 sighting Landed on a rock pile up at my farm, at first glance thought it was a blue bird but then was able to see the entire bird was blue. Chris Inscore
133 House Finch Corner of Thurman and Dan Allen 4/29 nest Saw a female with nesting material fly into a tree and land next to nest Laura Lillycrop
134 Scarlet Tanager Turner House 5/1 sighting Pre-storm Beth Stevenson
135 Cape May Warbler Turner House 5/2 sighting Exciting sighting -- had to triple check the Sibley Guide. Seen in the trees behind T-House. Beth Stevenson