Arkansas Region: Summer 2020

Summer 2020: 1 Jun–31 Jul

Lyndal York

Recommended citation:

York, L. 2022. Summer 2020: Arkansas Region. <> North American Birds.

Seasonal highlights: Red-breasted Merganser, Rufous Hummingbird, Laughing Gull, Royal Tern, nesting White-faced Ibis, and nesting Swallow-tailed Kites.

Ducks through Terns

Red-breasted Merganser photographed at Lake Balboa, Hot Springs Village, Garland Co 20 Jun (Vic Prislipsky) was just the second ever summer record. An Inca Dove at Stephens 26 Jun was just the second for Ouachita Co (Michael Linz, Patty McLean). A White-winged Dove was west of Garland City, Miller Co 29 Jul (Jennifer and Devin Moon). Rare in any season, a Rufous Hummingbird was photographed visiting a feeder at Bull Shoals, Marion Co 22 Jul (Alan and Carolyn Dickinson). Rarely encountered during the nesting season, an American Coot was at Lake Columbia, Columbia Co 26 Jun (Michael Linz, Patty McLean). Very rare in the northwest corner of the state, two Black-necked Stilts were found at Southwestern Electric Power Company Lake near Gentry, Benton Co 6 Jul (Mike Martin). The relatively high count of thirteen Upland Sandpipers was made at West-Ark Sod Farms, Crawford Co 31 Jul (Joe Neal). Rare in any season, a Laughing Gull was at Lake Dardanelle, Yell Co 26 Jun (Kenny Nichols). Unusually late, seven Franklin’s Gulls and a single Forster’s Tern were at Lake Dardanelle, Yell Co 10 Jul (Kenny Nichols). A Royal Tern at Lake Dardanelle, Yell Co 9 Jul was just the ninth for the state (Kenny Nichols).

Ibis through Warblers

Very rare so far north, a single White Ibis photographed 21 Jul at Moutain Home was surprisingly, a first for Baxter Co (Robert Nelson). White-faced Ibis were documented nesting in the state for the first time when 55 birds, including both juveniles and adults, were counted at a rookery near Montrose, Ashley Co 1 Jul (Karen Rowe, Jason McCallie, Jami Linder, Craig Shackelford). The colony of Roseate Spoonbills previously reported 24 May at near Montrose, Ashley Co continues to be productive with eight adults and two nests containing seven nestlings, 18 Jun (Karen Rowe, Jami Linder). A photo of adult with nestling was obtained. This colony is the first record for nesting in Arkansas. Successful nesting by Swallow-tailed Kites was documented throughout the season with four adults, one second-year bird and three fledglings observed almost daily, 9 Jun – 30 Jul at Sulphur River WMA, Miller Co (Mike Harris, Karen Rowe, Charles Mills, Cameron Tatum, Brad Townsend, J.P. Fairhead). Rare and local during the nesting season, single Swainson’s Hawks were observed north of Maysville, Benton Co 5 Jul and 31 Jul at Kibler Bottoms, Crawford Co (Vivek Govind Kumar, Joe Neal).

Rare but increasing, seven Cave Swallows were near Bald Knob NWR, White Co 13 Jul (Glen and Michelle Wyatt); while ten were counted 22 Jul at First Old River, Miller Co (Charles Mills, Keith McFaul). A Pine Siskin was seen visiting a feeder in Perry Co on the very late date of 16 Jun (Susan Hart). Rare in summer, a Chestnut-sided Warbler was at the Stack Rock Area of the Ozark NF, Searcy Co 13 Jun (Leif Anderson).

Report processed by Jose Ramirez-Garofalo, 01 May 2023

Photos–Arkansas Region: Summer 2020

Only the second Red-breasted Merganser ever reported in Arkansas in the summer season. It was photographed at Lake Balboa in Hot Springs Village, Garland Co 21 Jun (2020). Photo © Vic Prislipsky

The first nesting of White-faced Ibis in Arkansas was captured on film by Jami Linder while at a remote WRP reservoir on private property near Montrose, Drew Co 1 Jul 2020. Nine fledgling White-faced Ibis were found sitting in the tops of button bushes and being fed by adults. Other adults were seen carrying sticks into the same area, presumably for additional nests. Adults were standing in bald cypress trees above the fledglings in the button bushes. Photo © Jami Linder

Adult White-faced Ibis in a bald cypress above the button bushes where the fledgling White-faced Ibis were perched. The location was at a private reservoir near Montrose, Drew Co 1 Jul 2020. Photo © Jami Linder

his is the first successful nesting record of a Roseate Spoonbill in Arkansas. The photo shows an adult bird with a nestling/fledgling along-side. It was not possible to see the nest as it appears to be hidden down below the crown of the button bushes. Sixteen adult birds were present on the site along with seven nestlings/fledglings. Photo © Jami Linder

First documented record of a Swallow-tailed Kite successfully nesting in Arkansas. Four adults, one second year, and three juvenile birds were observed frequently during the period 9 Jun–30 Jul at the Sulphur River WMA, Miller Co by biologists of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (Mike Harris, Karen Rowe, Charles Mills, Cameron Tatum, Brad Townsend, J.P. Fairhead). The birds consistently used one specific tree as a perch. The photo shows an adult arriving to feed two juveniles. The birds left the site on 8 Aug 2020. Photo © Mike Harris

A second year Swallow-tailed Kite in molt was photographed keeping company with the four adult kites around the perch tree. It is possible this bird was hatched the previous year. Photo © Charles Mills