Birds of Fort Dupont Park


Fort Dupont Park provides habitat for birds that use upland forest or scrub habitats. In spring, the forest is used as a stopover site by many migrating birds, en route from tropical wintering grounds to more northerly breeding grounds. Cankerworms (Alsophila pometaria) and other caterpillars that feed on the newly emerging leaves of oaks and other trees provide an abundant food resource for these birds. Eastern Wood-Pewees, Acadian Flycatchers, Red-eyed Vireos, and Wood Thrushes commonly nest in the forests, as do year-round resident Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, and Carolina Wrens. Fort Dupont Park is one of few sites in Washington, D.C., with forest of sufficient area for cavity-nesting Hairy and Pileated Woodpeckers, and for ground-nesting birds such as Ovenbirds and, occasionally, American Woodcock, Worm-eating Warbler, or Louisiana Waterthrush. Scrubby vegetation around the community gardens, the former golf course, and the fort earthworks provides nesting habitat for White-eyed Vireos, Gray Catbirds, Brown Thrashers, Blue Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, and American Goldfinches, and winter habitat for White-throated Sparrows, Song Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Juncos.

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

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