If you love birds, Hare’s Hideout Primitive Campground offers superb opportunities for viewing them. Bring your binoculars and camera and head on out here! Lots of birds live in northwest Arkansas, and you can spot most of them on our acreage of Ozark mountain wilderness. But there’s a few birds that are hard to see. That’s not because they’re few in number, but that they just seem to like staying hidden more often than not.
Often Heard but Seldom Seen
Sometimes it’s hard to get a glimpse of certain birds. It’s easy enough to know they’re there, though. Just listen for them. These birds present a challenge to actually see:
- yellow-billed cuckoo
Hard to See Birds
Just because they’re seldom seen, that doesn’t mean you’ll never see them. Here’s a red-morph eastern screech owl that fledged the nest earlier this year. While the mom was setting eggs, I saw her daily. Then when the young ‘uns hopped out of the nest, I saw them for that day. After that I haven’t seen them again. But I hear them at night.
Screech owls make a few different sounds, but you’ll understand the reason they’re named ‘screech’ once you hear their namesake sound. Click here for a YouTube recording of the various sounds of these hard to see birds.
The name I grew up hearing for this bird is ‘rain crow’. And it does seem to be true that I hear them mostly when it’s about to rain. They have a strange sound. For birds that are hard to see, this one seems to be one of the hardest for me to spot. It was only this year that I saw the first one, after hearing them all of my life. And then I saw it three or four times over a few days span. Haven’t seen it again since.
This is one I have seen only once or twice, ever. I hear them every year when mating season starts in May. One of the old guys around here told me that it’s time to plant corn when you hear the whippoorwills start calling. There’s a recording at my website if you’d like to hear it. This one must be so seldom seen by my friend Terry Stanfill the photographer, that I can’t even find a photo of one in his Facebook feed to share.
I recently found out we have another ‘will’ sort of bird called a Chuck-will’s-widow. It sounds sort of like the whippoorwill. You can hear one of these here at this link. I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard this one or not. If I did, I probably thought it was a whippoorwill.
How About You? What Hard to See Birds Do You Know?
What are the hard to see birds you know about?
About the Author and Photographer
Madison Woods is a local artist who makes her watercolor paints from the Ozark rocks. She also writes the articles for Hare’s Hideout. Terry Stanfill is the photographer for the Gentry Eagle Watch and is a frequent visitor to the Boxley Valley.