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Saturday, June 25, 2022 10:10AM

Birds of Fort Stanton Park


The varied topography and often dense vegetation in Fort Stanton Park offer cover and food to birds throughout the year. In spring, the forest is used as a stopover site by a variety of thrushes, warblers, and other migrating birds, but Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, House Wren, Wood Thrush, and Eastern Towhee are the only migrant species that regularly stay to nest in the forest. The disturbed area along the hiker-biker trail, although dominated by non-native plants, provides nesting habitat for White-eyed Vireos, Gray Catbirds, Northern Cardinals, and Indigo Buntings. In fall, migrants are attracted to this area and to forest edges, foraging on fruit-bearing vines and shrubs. Flocks of White-throated Sparrows arrive in Fort Stanton Park in October, and spend the winter with resident Red-bellied and Downy woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, and Carolina Wrens, and occasional Brown Creepers, Winter Wrens, Hermit Thrushes, and Towhees. These birds shelter in the park's ravines during inclement weather, moving to east-facing slopes and forest edges to forage on cold, sunny mornings. Lawns in the park are frequented by urban birds such as European Starlings, House Sparrows, American Robins and Northern Mockingbirds.

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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