A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Northern Flicker a frequent winter visitor to Kentucky’s backyard bird feeders

As the first day of winter approaches, and we get hard freezes and our first snows, homeowners begin feeding songbirds at backyard feeders. Maybe the holiday spirit of sharing with those less fortunate has something to do with the timing. Cold, ice and snow, which become more frequent around Christmas, means hard times are ahead for our feathered friends. Food becomes a priority just to maintain body...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: With striking looks and eerie sounds, the Great Horned Owl is a Halloween icon

A night hunter with a striking appearance and eerie vocalizations, this owl is a Halloween icon. The Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) is a large, powerful bird with bright yellow eyes, brown, tan and whitish/gray plumage that provides good camouflage in forests, and distinctive “horns,” tufts of feathers called plumicorns. The Great Horned Owl is one of five owl species that nests in Kentucky....

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Carolina Chickadees are year-round residents that brighten the dreariest of days

Editor’s Note: This is the second article in a series about small songbirds most often seen around bird feeders in rural and suburban areas of Kentucky during the late fall and winter. The Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) is a cheerful little bird that brightens up even the dreariest cold days. The Carolina Chickadee is a permanent, year-round resident of Kentucky and a frequent visitor...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The Eastern Kingbird, a snappy dresser, aerial artist and migratory traveler

The Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) is a snappy dresser, an aerial artist that catches its prey on the wing, and spends the winter in tropical climes. Its demeanor and distinctive plumage are all business — upright posture, white shirt (breast), and dark suit — gray head, back, wings and white-tipped square tail. Coloration is similar to the Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe), but...