Sightings / bonus points


This aspect of the lab is designed to encourage students to become aware of the local avifauna outside of scheduled lab time. We want you to look for birds on your own. As an incentive, you can earn bonus points for additions to this list of bird sightings.

Rules for receiving bonus points

A point will be awarded to the first person(s) who submits a sighting of a new, free ranging, nondomestic, native or naturalized species outside of lab time (hearing a new species also counts). All submissions for a new species received before the sighting is posted will recieve credit. Students are allowed only one submission per day, and the submission must be made within 24 hours of the observation. If your sighting is a "rare" species or a species not normally seen at that time of year, you must also submit a photograph or have your sighting confirmed by a second independent observer. Each student can earn a maximum of two points per week (weeks restart on Monday) for sightings.

In addition, three points will be awarded to the first person to find the first active nest for each species (identified by eggs, chicks, prolonged incubation on nest, or by observing adults bringing food to nest).

A maximum of 25 points total can be accumulated for Sightings and Question of the Week answers for each student.

Submitting Sightings

Email the following information to Jin Bai to submit a sighting.

Your Name:




Sighting or Nest:



Species List

  Species Location Date Sighting or nest Comments Observer(s)
1 European Starling Cup a Joe 1/10 sighting What a voice Ted Simons
2 Eastern Towhee Williams Hall 1/11 sighting On the ground. Alivia Cramer
3 American Crow Dan Allen Parking Deck 1/11 sighting Flew to nearby apartment building. Emma Litra
4 House Finch Lake Johnson Park 1/11 sighting Searching for food near the parking lot. Bradley Scholten
5 Double-crested Cormorant Lake Johnson 1/12 sighting Group of 9 swimming on the surface of Lake Johnson, occasionally diving for small fish. Jenna Donkle
6 American Robin 611 Crimson Cross Ct 1/12 sighting Was in a tree. Alivia Cramer
7 Carolina Chickadee Neighborhood near Lake Johnson 1/13 sighting Getting sunflower seeds from a feeder. Bradley Scholten
8 Great Blue Heron Umstead State Park 1/13 sighting I spotted flying down the river that runs through Umstead. Elaina Savage
9 Pied-billed Grebe Durant Nature Preserve 1/13 sighting Pair feeding in lake. Emma Litra
10 Downy Woodpecker Redpoint Raleigh Complex 1/14 sighting Found hanging around on a dormant oak tree. Vanessa Faulk
11 Carolina Wren SPCA of Wake County 1/14 sighting It was sitting on a car's tire. Brandon Taylor
12 American Goldfinch 611 Crimson Cross Ct 1/17 sighting Was on the ground in leaf litter. Alivia Cramer
13 Tufted Titmouse Neighborhood near Lake Johnson 1/18 sighting Searching for bird seed that had fallen on the ground. Bradley Scholten
14 Canada Goose On the bank of a pond off Kildaire Farm Road 1/18 sighting It was eating grass. Brandon Taylor
15 Brown Thrasher Gorman Street 1/17 sighting Found around understory area (urban). Ana Sapp
16 Ruddy Duck Lake Johnson 1/18 sighting Male, sighted by itself. Floating on water by shore, occasionally diving beneath the water. Jenna Donkle
17 Red-tailed Hawk Brickyard NCSU 1/19 sighting Perched on a tree limb by the picnic tables in the brickyard. Elaina Savage
18 Northern Mockingbird Outside of Logan's Garden Shop, Raleigh, NC 1/19 sighting On a bush. Amanda Hofmann
19  White-throated Sparrow Rocky Branch Trail 1/19 sighting Flew into a vine covered bush right next to me, and I could see the yellow supraorbital spot clearly. Zayne Isgett
20 Eastern Bluebird Dan Allen Dr. 1/20 sighting Flew right over Dan Allen and landed on a tree branch. Bradley Scholten
21 Hooded Merganser Pond off of Tryon Road by Windsor Apartments 1/22 sighting Swimming in pond with Canada Geese and Mallards Amanda Hofmann
22 Turkey Vulture Umstead State Park by Lake Crabtree 1/22 sighting Two seen circling over a small lake. Elaina Savage
23 Ruby-Crowned Kinglet Lake Raleigh 1/23 sighting Flitting between juniper trees along the bank of Lake Raleigh. Lucie Ciccone
24 Yellow-rumped Warbler Neighborhood near Lake Johnson 1/23 sighting Hopping around in the shrubs. Bradley Scholten
25 House Sparrow Raleigh Farmers Market 1/24 sighting Hanging around a wood pile. Vanessa Faulk
26 Belted Kingfisher Lake Johnson 1/24 sighting Heard rattle call, then spotted it flying over the lake towards the power lines on the road. Jenna Donkle
27 Mourning Dove Neighborhood near Lake Johnson 1/25 sighting Calling from a rooftop. Bradley Scholten
28 Northern Cardinal Durant Nature Preserve 1/27 sighting Male, heard vocalizing, sitting on American holly tree. Emma Litra
29  Field Sparrow Yates Mill Pond 1/27 sighting   Martina Nordstrand
30 Pine Warbler Dan Allen Dr. 1/28 sighting I saw a pair of pine warblers in a deciduous tree. Lucie Ciccone
31 Baltimore Oriole West Park Dr. (my yard) 1/28 sighting Female visiting daily for jelly! Martina Nordstrand
32 Black Vulture Lake Wheeler Road 1/29 sighting Drive-by sighting, soaring overhead. Distinguished from turkey vulture by shorter tail and mostly white primaries. Jenna Donkle
33 Brown-headed Nuthatch Wood Hall 1/31 sighting Hopping up a pine tree Ashley Conroy
34 White-breasted Nuthatch Lake Johnson 2/2 sighting Perched sideways on a pine tree. Bradley Scholten
35 Northern Flicker 611 Crimson Cross Ct 2/2 sighting Landed on a small branch off of a tree in the woods behind my apartment. Alivia Cramer
36 Northern Harrier Asheboro, NC 2/5 sighting Hunting over open country. Martina Nordstrand
37 Bald Eagle Macedonia Lake Trail 2/6 sighting Mature individual soaring above the water. Amanda Hofmann
38 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker My yard 2/6 sighting   Martina Nordstrand
39 Golden-crowned Kinglet Schneck Forest 2/6 sighting Quick little bird. Ana Sapp
40 Rock Pigeon Parking Deck near Cameron Village Starbucks 2/8 sighting Fast walker on the ground trying to find food in the parking deck. Steph Lee
41 Fish Crow Talley Student Union 2/9 sighting Cawing from on top of the Talley spire. Martina Nordstrand
42 American Kestrel NCSU Campus 2/10 sighting Flying over Fox Labs, nice surprise! Martina Nordstrand
43 Red-winged Blackbird NC Museum of Art 2/10 sighting I saw a male Red-winged Blackbird flying overhead in a stand of pine trees. Lucie Ciccone
44 Hairy Woodpecker Schenck Forest 2/10 sighting Hanging out in the Loblolly stand. Amanda Hofmann
45 Red-bellied Woodpecker My yard 2/11 sighting Making his way up a pine tree. Bradley Scholten
46 Brown Pelican Murrels Inlet, SC 2/12 sighting Group of seven flying alongside the shore. Jenna Donkle
47 Common Grackle Dan Allen Drive (campus) 2/14 sighting Heard several in pine trees, was able to locate. Group of about ~15 all calling loudly. Jenna Donkle
48 Blue Jay Hillsborough Street 2/14 sighting I saw a blue jay perched on a tree branch. Brandon Taylor
49 Ring-billed Gull Lake Johnson 2/15 sighting It was in a pair of two. Ana Sapp
50 House Sparrow Brugers Bagels 2/17 nest Adults going back and forth to the nest and never left the nest unattended. Ana Sapp
51 Boat-tailed Grackle Emerald Isle 2/17 sighting They were in ideal habitat, a Bojangles parking lot. Martina Nordstrand
52 Peregrine Falcon Mid Pines Rd 2/18 sighting   Martina Nordstrand
53 Killdeer Whiteville, NC 2/26 sighting Running around in the field beside my house. Vanessa Faulk
54 Chipping Sparrow Walnut Creek Trail 2/26 sighting   Ashley Conroy
55 Wild Turkey Old Dock, NC 2/27 sighting Flock of 8 in the field beside the highway. Vanessa Faulk
56 Red-shouldered Hawk Durant Nature Preserve 2/27 sighting Juvenile perched on branch on adjacent greenway trail, unbothered by people passing Emma Litra
57 Common Raven Lake Johnson 2/28 sighting Walking around in the parking lot. Bradley Scholten
58 Ring-necked Duck Pullen Park 2/27 sighting In a pair Ana Sapp
59 Dark-eyed Junco My backyard 3/2 sighting Hanging out on a tree branch. Beautiful dark coloration. Bradley Scholten
60 Song Sparrow Rocky Branch Trail 3/5 sighting In bushes along stream. Ashley Conroy
61 Barred Owl Yates Mill Park 3/4 sighting It was perched on a tree branch pretty well camouflaged with the tree. Brandon Taylor
62 Mallard Lake Raleigh 3/7 sighting A lone male Mallard swimming near the bank. Brandon Taylor
63 Sparkling Violetear La Carolina Park, Quito, Ecuador 3/12 sighting Flitting around in a bottlebrush tree. Amanda Hofmann
64 Osprey Mobile, AL 3/13 sighting Flew over us across the road. Lifer for me! Vanessa Faulk
65 Black-and-white Warbler Everglades, FL 3/13 sighting   Ana Sapp
66 Laughing Gull New Orleans, LA 3/14 sighting Flying around our steam boat constantly calling. Vanessa Faulk
67 Purple Gallinule Everglades National Park 3/15 sighting It was eating plants and walking on lily pads. Ana Sapp
68 Hermit Thrush Neighbor's yard (North Raleigh) 3/16 sighting Moving around in a pile of leaves near edge of woody backyard area. Emma Litra
69 Pileated Woodpecker Woods in backyard (North Raleigh) 3/18 sighting Flying between bases of trees landing in found once, called twice. Emma Litra
70 Swallow-tailed Kite St. Augustine, FL 3/19 sighting There were two in a pair flying. Ana Sapp
71 Wilson's Snipe Ellerbe Creek Beaver Marsh, Durham 3/17 sighting The snipes were wading in the marsh probing in the mud. Lucie Ciccone
72 Red-headed Woodpecker Ellerbe Creek Beaver Marsh, Durham 3/17 sighting It was flying between snags in the marsh. Lucie Ciccone
73 Northern Pintail Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge 3/12 sighting Way fewer ducks here than a few weeks ago! Bradley Scholten
74 American Oystercatcher Hatteras Beach - Cape Point 3/13 sighting 2 flew and landed right by me. 1 banded. Bradley Scholten
75 Hawaiian Goose (Nene) Kauai, Hawaii 3/19 sighting   Maggie Hart
76 White-tailed Tropicbird Kauai, Hawaii 3/19 sighting   Maggie Hart
77 Pearly-eyed Thrasher El Yunque National Forest - Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 3/12 sighting Was singing on a very small tree and you could see it very up close which was amazing. Desirée Nieves Canabal
78 Puerto Rican Woodpecker Camino San Miguel - Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 3/12 sighting It was singing on the beach over palm trees. Desirée Nieves Canabal
79 Venezuelan Troupial Guanica State Forest, Puerto Rico 3/14 sighting Three for flying over the dry forest. Desirée Nieves Canabal
80 Puerto Rican Parrot Bosque Estatal de Rio Abajo - Utuado, Puerto Rico 3/15 sighting This is an endangered species and is very rare to see on the island. We were at the Rio Abajo Parrot Recovery Sanctuary so the species is very present in this area. I saw over 10 wild parrots flying around and standing on branches. Desirée Nieves Canabal
81 Eastern Phoebe Raleigh, NC 3/23 sighting Heard on Morrill Dr past the softball field on campus. Vanessa Faulk
82 Brown Creeper 611 Crimson Cross Ct 3/21 sighting On the side of a large tree in the woods behind my apartment. Alivia Cramer
83 Black-tailed Trainbearer Intinan Solar Museum, Quito, Ecuador 3/12 sighting   Martina Nordstrand
84 Blue-and-yellow Tanager Intinan Solar Museum, Quito, Ecuador 3/12 sighting   Martina Nordstrand
85 Fiery Topaz Kapawi Lodge, Ecuador 3/19 sighting   Martina Nordstrand
86 Horned Screamer Kapawi Lodge, Ecuador 3/19 sighting   Martina Nordstrand
87 Yellow-throated Warbler William B Clark Conservation Area (Rossville, TN) 3/29 sighting They were singing and appeared to be foraging at the tops of cypress trees. Lucie Ciccone
88 House Finch Village District 3/30 nest Female flying to and from nest, male in nearby tree. Emma Litra
89 Brown-headed Nuthatch Rocky Branch Trail on campus 3/30 nest I saw two brown-headed nuthatches going in and out of this cavity in the side of a snag and I believe they are building a nest. Zayne Isgett
90 Northern Rough-winged Swallow Durant Nature Preserve 3/31 sighting Several seen flying and feeding over lake. Emma Litra
91 Tree Swallow Hunt Library 4/3 sighting It looked like it was flying and feeding. Ana Sapp
92 Barn Swallow Lake Johnson 4/3 sighting Returned to the lake for the summer. Bradley Scholten
93 Brown-headed Cowbird My house 4/2 sighting Came to my birdfeeder Bradley Scholten
94 Eastern Bluebird Raleigh, NC 4/4 nest A pair of bluebirds are building a nest in the birdhouse in my backyard! They have been bringing materials in and out this past weekend and I saw copulation this afternoon! Ashley Lynn
95 Killdeer Whiteville, NC 4/5 nest On the ground in the woods behind my house. Vanessa Faulk
96 Ovenbird Pullen Park 4/6 sighting The ovenbird was perched in a small tree and foraging on the ground. Lucie Ciccone
97 Mourning Dove Clyde, NC 4/7 nest Sitting in her nest at a hotel. Brandon Taylor
98 Cedar Waxwing Village District 4/9 sighting It was sitting perched on a tree branch near one of the apartments. It has a nice yellow spot on its back feathers. Steph Lee
99 Palm Warbler Horseshoe Farm Preserve 4/10 sighting Quickly flying between trees and branches, pumping tail when stationary Emma Litra
100 Chimney Swift Horseshoe Farm Preserve 4/10 sighting One bird flying over open field area in park, chattering Emma Litra
101 Gray Catbird Lake Johnson Mews Apartment Complex 4/11 sighting Heard 'mew' call, searched for and found in thicket of tree privet. Jenna Donkle
102 Canada Goose Raleigh, NC 4/12 nest One goose sitting on a nest in a bed of pansies. Nice and protected, too. Ashley Lynn
103 Orchard Oriole NCMA 4/12 sighting It was perched at the top of a young tree adjacent to the pond, and was singing loudly. Lucie Ciccone and Zayne Isgett
104 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Battery Park, Charleston, SC 4/10 sighting 4 roosting in a tree Bradley Scholten
105 Purple Martin Old Dock, NC 4/15 nest Saw bringing nesting materials into our gourds. Vanessa Faulk
106 European Starling NCMA 4/16 nest One of the starling parents was watching the nest from above. Definitely a cavity nest made in the crevice of the outdoor stage roofing. Steph Lee
107 Northern Cardinal 214 Cox Ave 4/17 nest The male cardinal was sitting in the nest before I startled it and it flew out the bush. Steph Lee
108 Eastern Kingbird Lake Johnson 4/17 sighting Sitting on a branch right over the water, singing. Bradley Scholten
109 Eastern Meadowlark Midpines Road 4/20 sighting There was a pair of birds and they were ona fence near a field. Ana Sapp
110 Northern Parula Schenck Forest 4/21 sighting Calling in a tree across creek. Emma Litra
111 Acadian Flycatcher Schenck Forest 4/21 sighting Flew across creek, calls heard in nearby tree. Emma Litra
111 Carolina Wren NCSU Campus 5/4 nest I saw a nest with recently fledged baby Carolina Wren after the exam! Ana Sapp