Birds of Anacostia Park


Although most of Anacostia Park is dedicated to public recreation facilities, it also provides habitat for a variety of bird species. Eastern Kingbirds, Warbling Vireos, and Orchard and Baltimore Orioles nest in trees along the Anacostia River. Gray Catbirds and Song Sparrows are scattered throughout Anacostia Park where shrubs or vines provide nesting cover, and Willow Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, and Common Yellowthroats nest in patches of scrubby vegetation in undeveloped sections of the Park. During winter, these habitats are occupied by Song and White-throated sparrows, and sometimes American Tree, Field, or Fox Sparrows. The ballfields and golf course provide foraging habitat for Barn Swallows and Northern Rough-winged Swallows in summer, and loafing and foraging areas for Canada Geese and Ring-billed Gulls throughout the year. Although less common than Ring-billeds, Herring and Great Black-backed gulls regularly frequent the Anacostia River, as do Laughing Gulls and Forster's Terns during late summer and fall, and rarer gulls and terns are occasionally present. The Great Blue Herons, Canada Geese, and Mallards that use the waters of the Anacostia River year-round are joined by other waterbirds during migration and winter, including American Coots, Double-crested Cormorants, Buffleheads, Hooded Mergansers, and Ruddy Ducks. Mudflats in Kingman Lake and elsewhere in the Anacostia River, exposed at low tide, are used by a variety of shorebirds during migration. Recent efforts to restore marsh vegetation to Kingman Lake may provide habitat for Marsh Wrens, bitterns, and rails to once again nest along the Anacostia.

Additional information on each species on the checklist can be accessed through hypertext links. Click on the species name to access general information from the Patuxent Bird Identification Infocenter; a description of the information available can be obtained by clicking on the "Species" heading in the checklist. To view maps of bird distribution in the park during the nesting season of 1999, click on the summer abundance codes that are in hypertext. Distribution maps were prepared for species that are probable or confirmed nesters in the park from data collected by biologists from the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Maps showing the distribution of birds detected on surveys conducted during January - February 2000 can be accessed by clicking on the winter abundance codes that are in hypertext. Additional information on the bird surveys can be accessed by clicking on the "Summer" or "Winter" headings on the checklist.

If you see any of the boldfaced species, any species not already on the checklist, or any species in a season marked by a question mark, please report the sighting to: Brent_Steury at

[Checklist] [Habitats] [Home]