Our forest ecosystem is important to every person whether they realize it or not. Therefore, when one part of it is lost, its loss is felt by us as well as the ecosystem. Here is a video that tells the story of the American Chestnut and how it has been decimated by blight.

Featured Five Flora and Fauna



Ruby-throated Hummingbird


This hummingbird is smaller than average weighing 2-6g. As the name suggests, the males of this species have bright red throats. The back of the bird is an emerald green and the bellies are grayish-white.  This small bird is capable of hovering in air and moving in all directions with ease, similar to a drone. This ability comes from the extremely rapid beating of their wings at about 53 flaps per second. Even more impressive is their migration habits. Ruby-throated hummingbirds migrate individually and will migrate 2000 miles South. During the trip, they maintain speeds of 25 miles per hour and can go for about 600 miles before needing to refuel themselves.  Now, as the weather warms up, hummingbirds are returning. If you want to be helpful, consider putting out a feeder so they can refuel after such a long trip.





Hooded Warbler


The Hooded Warbler is not much bigger than the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, weighing 9-12g. This bird is olive green on the back and yellow on the front. The adult males have black markings on their heads and throats that resemble a hood. It also looks a bit like the bird has hair and a beard, but it is unfortunately not called the Bearded Warbler. This species of bird likes to sit on branches in deciduous forests but will also live in small forests if there are places with good foliage. This is important to the bird because it tends to pick insects from leaves in foliage. This bird eats many small insects like beetles and caterpillars. They will also eat small spiders.  After migration the males return to their previous nesting territory while the females move to different areas.


Source: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Warbler/idhood



Wood Thrush


This species has a brown back and a white belly that is speckled with black. They like to live in damp areas of deciduous woodlands so they are more numerous near streams. This thrush will also sometimes live in suburban areas if there are enough trees. This bird has a very nice song that sounds like a flute. Wood Thrushes populations have been in decline.  One reason may be that deforestation has allowed the parasitic Cowbird to find Wood Thrush nests more easily. The Cowbird lays its eggs in other birds’ nests and Wood Thrushes, unlike some other birds, will raise the Cowbird indiscriminately. This prevents the Wood Thrush from raising as many of their own young.


Source: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wood_Thrush/overview#


Kentucky Warbler

Like the Hooded Warbler, the Kentucky Warbler has an olive-green back and yellow front. Instead of a black hood, however, this bird has small streaks of black on its head and under its eyes. This warbler likes to live in deciduous forests and nests on the ground. It usually stays near the ground or lower part of the forest. Since they prefer dense vegetation, they are hard to find. This bird eats many different insects and spiders, but will also sometimes eat berries. Like the Wooded Thrush, this species also is a target for the parasitic Cowbird which lays its eggs in Kentucky Warbler nests. . Interestingly, the males of this species only sing one song type. So, when two males are counter-singing, they do not match each other’s song type, only pitch.


Source: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Kentucky_Warbler/overview







Rose Breasted Grosbeak

This bird has a very large stubby beak in the shape of a triangle and a squared tail.  Weighing 40-60 g, t is one of the biggest birds on this list. The male and female of this species look very different. The male has a black back and face with a white belly and a strip of red at its throat. The females are much less flashy. They have a brown back and yellowish belly with brown speckles.  Both sexes have white patches on the wings and tails. This bird has a stubby beak, so its diet is a bit different than the birds with pointed beaks. The Rose Breasted Grosbeak eats seeds and fruit but will also eat insects. When migrating, this bird will visit fruiting trees along the way to refuel.


Source: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Rose-breasted_Grosbeak/id