Nest Description: Nests may start with dried leaves, or be lined with pine seed husks, inner bark strips, wood chips, grasses, cotton and feathers. Fuquay described this nest as tidy, with strips of bark and a few leaves. They stuffed the ventilation holes with strips of bark. They may cover eggs when leaving nest.
Egg Description: Eggs tiny, smooth (almost no gloss) with evenly distributed fine reddish-brown dots/small spots/blotches. Fuquay said these eggs had a cream colored backgound. In this nest, incubation began March 30.
These babies were fed suet, nuts and shelled sunflower seeds from a nearby feeder.
16 day old BHNUs. Photo by Vickie Fuquay.
Preferred habitat: Clearings and burned areas, Open, mature pine forest with open understory, esp. Loblolly and Longleaf-slash, where snags are present. Favors recently burned stands. Less frequently found in younger pine or pine-hardwood (e.g., oak/hickory) stands with snags and grassy openings, or mature pine stands with heavy undergrowth. May be in parks and neighborhoods that have large live pines in open areas. In Florida in cypress swamps and prairies with adjoining pine woodlands.
The Audubon Society has placed BHNU's on their watch list as numbers have dropped by 45% in the past 35 years.
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