Redtail Hawk, Coopers Hawk
More than half of all hawks are threatened by habitat loss. They also control the populations of rodents and other small animals, helping to keep the ecosystem in balance.
Great Horned Owl, Screech Owl, Barn Owl
These owls serve as an important form of rodent control, as their primary diet is mice and other small animals. The owls often nest in dead or rotted trees that would be removed for the bicycle path. The absence of owls will increase rodents in homes and yards, particularly during the winter months.
Currently at a dangerously low numbers due to white-nose syndrome, they are important for mosquito control. Bats also aid in cross-pollination of plants. Bats summer between the bark and wood of downed trees along the rail bed. They can be observed coming out of the rail bed at dusk. One bat can consume up to 1,200 insects per hour, keeping insect populations under control. They are among the most endangered land mammals in North America.
Numerous songbirds - whose habitat will be destroyed by the paving over of food sources in the ground and removal of shrubs, dead trees and other vegetation.
Feeding on nuts and insects, the Blue Jay may also hide nuts and eat them later, like their squirrel friends. Found over the eastern and central United States, males and females construct nests in which their light brown or blue eggs will hatch. After two months, these intelligent songbirds are ready to go out on their own, and spread oak trees with their fondness of acorns.
This fast flying dove, with its small head and slender tail, flies fast, straight and gracefully. Their wings whistle and they have a sad sounding "coo, coo, coo." Seeds on the ground make their diet, for which they may be seen making sudden dives. They then disburse the seeds and plants. They like to perch overhead on small branches and wires.
This Northern Cardinal photographed along the wildlife corridor is keeping warm by fluffing its feathers. The cardinal uses the woodland edges and thickets of the corridor for habitat. They use the dense bushes in the corridor for nesting purposes. The cardinal’s diet includes many insects, which deems them to be an important form of insect control in Northampton Township.
Sporting bright red uniforms, Cardinals play in our corridor all year long, showing off their color against the branches or the snowy backdrop of back yards. Nesting in shrubs and vines, they like to hang low to the ground. They are responsible of awakening us in the mornings with their sweet whistles.
Listen to the chisel and crowbar of the woodpecker as its pointed beak taps on our trees to remove bark and find its insect dinner. Some of the drumming serves as courtship communication. At the end of their day, they have tapped 8,000 – 12,000 times!! Woodpeckers serve our corridor by helping to manage the insect population and by providing housing to other Northampton species who use the cavities they create.
Oh-sweet-Canada is sung by this White-throated Sparrow which enjoys the brush and undergrowth of the corridor, a well-vegetated suburban forest. Feeding on insects such as ants, wasps, beetles, flies and others, in addition to spiders and millipedes make this ubiquitous bird a welcome neighbor.
Often joining chickadees and woodpeckers, these echoing members of the small bird club can be very assertive over even smaller birds. At low elevations, they are found in yards, parks and in this preserve. Happy with small seeds, they will also carry large seeds back to their perch and crack it open with its stout bill. In this way, they help to distribute seeds some of which will develop into full foliage, adding to our township's greenery.
This cutie sports a big, round head on a tiny body, and enjoys learning about humans along the corridor. Found in flocks, it is also seen flying one at a time with a bouncy trajectory. Eating seeds and berries in the winter, they will hang upside down in the summer to catch insects. They create cavities for nesting which will later be used for other corridor species who are unable to build.
With its famous red breast, the American Robin spend the night in large flocks, and are active during the day feeding on fruits and berries, insects, grubs, earthworms, caterpillars and grasshoppers. It tends to run across lawns to pick up worms, and its running and stopping behaviors are unique. The Robin can hear earthworms under the ground. It helps us by controlling insects and spreading seeds.
The male blackbird often defends its breeding territory, chasing or threatening other males by running toward the intruder and bowing his head and tail. The female can be more aggressive but not as often. Males attract females with a bow of the head, open beak and a strangled song. They marry and stick together for life, creating a family.