By HASSAN TRAVIS-FRANK
Niagara County Community College is a school where students apply to achieve their potential, but what about the birds that can be found in the college? There are many North American native bird species you could find in NCCC. You could even find two invasive bird species around campus too. We sometimes may not discover what kinds of animals are around campus, especially birds. We can even find different species of songbirds in the NCCC courtyard. As you study and relax inside the courtyard, you will hear familiar bird calls. Songbirds will use their chirping songs to talk to each, whether if it is for calling a mate, alarm calls or establishing territory. Not only we could find birds in the college courtyard, but they can be found near the forest from the student housing section. The Student Housing has two ponds; one near the dorms and the other near the parking lot. Here is a guide that exhibits every different kind of bird that you can find around campus:
Scientific name: Turdus migratorius
The American robin is a type of thrush, and is native throughout North America. They are known for their red-orange breast and beautiful calls. While they are not a true robin, but they belong into the thrush family. You can see the birds out front of the Learning Commons, and they will perch on trees to make their beautiful chirps. You can even see them foraging in the grass looking for earthworms to eat.
Scientific name: Charadrius vociferus
Whether you are in a parking lot to find your car or waiting for the shuttle or walking to your dorm, you will hear the trill sound of the killdeer. You will hear the killdeer making its sounds around the parking lot or from the back of the college. They are usually seen flying around making their trill calls, and they can be seen running fast from the parking lot. They are shy birds and will run away fast more than flying. However, it will fly if predators are persistent.
Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus
The red-winged blackbird is known for its beautiful red and yellow wing and its gorgeous call. Male redwing blackbirds have red wings with yellow on the tip, and they are pure black. Female red-winged blackbirds are brown but they do have a little bit of red on their shoulder. These birds can be heard and found in the cattails and weeds by the lake near the Student Housing section.
Scientific name: Passer domesticus
Highly adaptable into urban and suburban environments, these songbirds can be found in cities, towns, and open fields. House sparrows were originally found in Europe and Asia; they were eventually introduced in Brooklyn in 1851 to control the caterpillar population. Male house sparrows have gray crowns on their heads, black streaks on the side of their eyes, and a black bib on their breasts. Female house sparrows are pale brown and does not have the black bibs on their breasts like the males. In Niagara County Community College, you can find house sparrows in bushes chirping in front of the Learning Common.
Scientific name: Spizella passerine
Chipping sparrows are known for their long trill chirp calls. Chipping sparrows have rusty brown crowns on top of their heads (this includes the males). Chipping sparrows are small, but they can sometimes be seen easily. In NCCC, they can be found in the front and the back of the Learning Commons or near the student housing section perching and calling in the trees. If you listen, you may hear its long trill chirping call.
Scientific name: Cardinalis cardinalis
These beautiful songbirds are familiar with their gorgeous red feathers, and their magnificent calls. Male cardinals are bright red and female cardinals are light pale brown, but still has a red-orange beak and a black face. You can find northern cardinals in the courtyard calling others of their kind or you can see them near the student housing section.
Scientific name: Branta canadensis
Highly adaptable to any environment, Canada geese can be found in ponds, lakes, parks, and even your own backyard. The parents will protect their goslings by hissing at their enemies, including humans. Canada geese will eventually visit the lake near the student housing section sometimes. If you are lucky, you will see them grazing grass in the field or swimming in the lake peacefully.
With this bird guide, you will have fun observing and identifying different species of birds around campus. There is so much to discover and learn from these creatures.