Birds of Oxon Run Parkway


The forests and seepage swamps of Oxon Run Parkway, formerly the site of the military Camp Simms, make this a unique natural area in a highly urbanized setting. Unfortunately, despite efforts by the National Park Service to protect this Park from disturbance, the recent loss of forest on adjacent properties may have reduced the likelihood of the Park's selection as a nesting site by some bird species. Several neotropical migrant species present in Oxon Run Parkway during the early 1990s, including Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Kentucky Warbler, were not detected during the nesting season of 1999. Nevertheless, the Park is used by a variety of birds throughout the year. Migrating birds are attracted by the diversity of tree species in the Park's forests and by the availability of water. Nesting birds include resident woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, and Northern Cardinal, as well as Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Wood Thrush, Northern Parula, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Towhee, and Indigo Bunting. Although most of the species detected at the survey points in winter were year-round residents, Song Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Juncos forage on the seeds of grasses and other plants that have become established in disturbed or restored areas, and Winter Wrens and occasional other species have been observed in the Park in winter.

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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