Birds of Suitland Parkway


The natural habitats that border Suitland Parkway host a surprising variety of birds, although the persistence of some species likely will depend on future land-use changes both on National Park Service land and on adjacent properties. Forest-nesting birds include several neotropical migrant species, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo, Ovenbird, and Scarlet Tanager, as well as resident woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, and Carolina Wrens. Northern Parula, Louisiana Waterthrush, Kentucky Warbler, and Hooded Warbler may occasionally nest in the moist forests along Henson Creek, and these and other Suitland Parkway wetlands deserve further study. Several pairs of Eastern Phoebes have begun to nest in the culverts that carry streams beneath the Parkway. Indigo Buntings and a few Blue Grosbeaks nest along forest edges, foraging on the seeds of wheat and other grasses that have sprouted on soils disturbed by construction activities. Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Field Sparrow may nest in the shrubby vegetation maintained around the approach lights for the airfield at Andrews Air Force Base or in scattered patches along the Parkway, and these habitats attract White-throated and other sparrows 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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