Birds of the National Colonial Farm


The diverse habitats of the National Colonial Farm are used by birds that are resident in one or more seasons and birds that briefly stop to rest and forage during migration. Red-bellied and Downy woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Wrens, and Northern Cardinals are common year-round forest residents. During the nesting season, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Eastern Wood-Pewees, Acadian Flycatchers, Red-eyed Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Wood Thrushes, Northern Parulas, Kentucky Warblers, and Scarlet Tanagers also are scattered through the forest, Worm-eating Warblers and Louisiana Waterthrushes inhabit the forested ravine on the southeast side of the property, and a Summer Tanager pair occasionally settles in the forest near the main parking lot or elsewhere on the Farm. Prothonotary Warblers nest in the forested swamps that border the Potomac River, and Eastern Kingbirds and Orchard and Baltimore orioles nest in trees along the River or at forest edges. In fall through early spring, Northern Flickers and Blue Jays are more numerous in the forest, and a few Brown Creepers, Winter Wrens, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Hermit Thrushes, and Yellow-rumped Warblers join resident birds in foraging flocks. Patches of early successional vegetation or shrubs at field edges are used during the nesting season by Common Yellowthroats, Yellow-breasted Chats, Blue Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, Field Sparrows, and American Goldfinches, and by Dark-eyed Juncos and Field, Song, and White-throated sparrows in other seasons. The hayfields and pastures provide nesting habitat for Northern Bobwhites, Grasshopper Sparrows, and Eastern Meadowlarks, and Tree Swallows and Eastern Bluebirds occupy erected nest boxes. Canada Geese, Mallards, and possibly rails nest, forage, and rest in the marsh at the mouth of Accokeek Creek. The waters off the National Colonial Farm are used during winter by Lesser Scaup, Buffleheads, Common Mergansers, and an assortment of other waterfowl species.

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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