Birds of Fort Foote Park


Located on the Potomac River south of Washington, D.C., Fort Foote Park, despite its small size, includes a diversity of habitats that attract birds throughout the year. Bald Eagles frequently perch in trees along the park's shoreline. Great Blue Herons, Canada Geese, Mallards, and migrating Spotted Sandpipers rest and forage on the beach or near shore, and, in season, Ospreys and assorted gulls and terns forage over off-shore waters. In spring, migrating thrushes and warblers stop over in the park, seeking food and cover in both the disturbed forest on the steep exposed slope above the river and the moister, more sheltered forest on east-facing slopes. Eastern Wood-Pewees, Acadian Flycatchers, Great Crested Flycatchers, Red-eyed Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Wood Thrushes, Northern Parulas and Scarlet Tanagers regularly nest in the forest, along with resident Red-bellied and Downy woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, Carolina Wrens, and Northern Cardinals. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, and kinglets occasionally join foraging resident birds in fall or winter. Scrubby vegetation along the forest edge or in the field near the radio tower is used by White-eyed Vireos, Indigo Buntings, and Field Sparrows during the nesting season, and by Brown Thrashers, Eastern Towhees, and White-throated Sparrows at other times of the year.

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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