Birds

Bald Eagle BALD EAGLE

Having slowly made a comeback with the help of many reintroduction programs, the nation's symbol can now be spotted along the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. Immature bald eagles have dusky head and tail feathers and a dark beak. The tail of the similarly-colored golden eagle has a distinctive white band.

Bald Eagle Bird Call

BLUEBIRD

These brightly colored birds are found year round on some parts of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to as far north as Connecticut and their breeding range extends to Maine. The bluebird's musical call sounds like “tru-ly.” They prefer open areas with scattered trees.

Bluebird Bird Call

COMMON LOON

These low swimming birds with long, dagger-like beaks are found in many of the lakes along the Appalachian Trail in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The picture here shows their summer plumage, in winter they have dark backs and dull, whitish undersides. The call of the loon is a wild falsetto or even a sound best described as maniacal laughter.

Common Loon Bird Call

OWLS


Owls are birds that you are more likely to hear than see. The most commonly heard one is the barred owl, the call of which sounds something like “who cooks for you? who cooks for you all.” The screech owl, as the name implies, has an eerie, quivering whistle that may remind some of the whinnying horse. The largest of the A.T. owl family is the Great Horned Owl (pictured here), with a wingspan of nearly five feet. Its call is a series of four or more low hoots.

Barred Owl Bird Call

Horned Owl Bird Call 

Daylight evidence of owls is found in the remnants of their nocturnal hunting. Owls swallow and digest their prey whole. Then they regurgitate and spit out the remains. What's left is a ball of fur and bones you sometimes see along the Trail.

PILEATED WOODPECKER

These large woodpeckers are rare but easy to spot and hear in the woods along the Trail. Their call is an exotic-sounding laugh and will make you think you are in a jungle. Their conspicuous red crest makes them easy to identify. The rest of the body is black, but, in flight, they show a large band of white feathers on their wings.

Pileated Woodpecker Bird Call

RUFUS-SIDED TOWHEE

These large sparrows are rather tame and seem fearless of people, often hopping from bush to bush just ahead of friendly hikers, they are identified by their black top sides, white bellies, and rufus (Latin for red) streaks on their flanks. In the female, brown replaces the black.

 
Rufus-Sided Towhee Bird Call

Scarlet TanagerSCARLET TANAGER

No other bird in North America has a red body with black wings, so beautiful it is easy to identify. It can be spotted from Maine to Georgia. In the female, yellow replaces the red.

Scarlet Tanager Bird Call

QUAIL

The type of quail pictured here is the common bobwhite. It's name comes from its distinctive call, a distinctly whistled “Bob-white.” Small groups, known as coveys, of quail can be encountered in brushy fields and on the edge of woods along the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Pennsylvania.

Quail Bird Call