GNB Habitat

By The Bird Team: Joshua Barss Donham, Fulton Lavender, Cathy Smalley, Katie Studholme. Photos by Joshua Barss Donham

June 9, 2024

Over the past few months, we’ve been sharing about ground nesting birds that call the Backlands home. So far we’ve met the Dark-Eyed Junco, the American Woodcock, and the Black-and-white Warbler, with the Common Nighthawk soon to come (hint… not common & not a hawk… stay tuned to learn more…).

But first, let’s talk habitat! Different species of ground nesting birds prefer vastly different habitats, so we’re going to stick to those that frequent the Halifax wilderness area that we call the Backlands.

The hardwood slope in this photo (taken mid-May) is a perfect spot for ground-nesting birds/ he approx. location is indicated by the arrow in the map below. 18 May 2023. Palm Warblers were sighted nesting there,  Ovenbirds nearby. Click on images  for larger versions.

Map of West Island Pond area. Arrow points to approx. location of the Hardwood slope. The numbers on the map indicate rough locations where a Backlands Coalition member has viewed ground-nesting bird species in the past. Click on image for larger version

These birds tend to seek leaf litter or other foliage, exposed tree roots, logs, brush, or other sheltered depressions for their nests. These open cup nests are typically made of grass, leaves, bark strips, needles, moss and other materials that offer both comfort and camouflage.The hardwood slope in this photo (taken mid-May) is a perfect spot.

Remember to please help out our feathered friends by keeping you feet on the trails during ground nesting season!

More examples of Habitats for Ground-Nesting Birds

Head of the Gully, East Pine Island Pond Photo on Apr 28, 2023

NighthawkRidge, Flat Lake Trail . Photo on 10Aug 10, 2023

North End of Eastern Shore of West Pine Island. Pond. Photo on Mar 19, 2023)

Hawk Rock, Alabaster Way Trailhead Photo on Oct 20, 2023

Page posted, edited by david p June 9, 2023