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Bird Checklists of the United States

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Cambridge, Maryland


Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1933, is located on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Dorchester County, Maryland about 10 miles south of Cambridge. It served as an important resting and feeding area for migrating and wintering waterfowl in the chain of wildlife refuges along the Atlantic Flyway that extends from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The Blackwater area also has one of the largest populations of nesting bald eagles on the Atlantic Coast.

Species names and order are in accordance with the Sixth American Ornithologists Union Checklist as amended. This resource lists 257 regular species of birds identified by Refuge personnel and ornithologists, plus an additional 25 species of accidentals that have been seen only one or two times.


Most birds are migratory; therefore, their seasonal occurrence is coded as follows:

Season
Sp - Spring - March to May
S - Summer - June to August
F - Fall - September to November
W - Winter - December to February

Relative Abundance
a - abundant: a species which is very numerous
c - common: likely to be seen or heard in suitable habitat
u - uncommon: present, but not certain to be seen
o - occasional: seen only a few times during a season
r - rare: may be present but not every year
* - birds known to nest on or near the refuge
# - threatened or endangered species


LOONS, GREBES Sp S F W ___ Common Loon u - o o ___ Pied-billed Grebe u o u u ___ Horned Grebe o - o o
CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ Double-crested Cormorant u r o -
BITTERNS, HERONS, IBISES Sp S F W ___ American Bittern* u u u o ___ Least Bittern* u u u - ___ Great Blue Heron c c c c ___ Great Egret c c c r ___ Snowy Egret c c c - ___ Little Blue Heron u u u - ___ Tricolored Heron u u u - ___ Cattle Egret u u u - ___ Green Heron* c c c - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* u u u u ___ Glossy Ibis o o o -
SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Tundra Swan u - c c ___ Greater White-Fronted Goose - - r r ___ Snow Goose u - c c ___ Canada Goose* a c a a ___ Wood Duck* c c u o ___ Green-winged Teal c r a u ___ American Black Duck* c c c c ___ Mallard* a c a a ___ Northern Pintail c - c c ___ Blue-winged Teal* c u c r ___ Northern Shoveler u r c o ___ Gadwall u o u u ___ Eurasian Wigeon r - - r ___ American Wigeon u - u u ___ Canvasback r - r o ___ Redhead o - o o ___ Ring-necked Duck o - o o ___ Greater Scaup o - o o ___ Lesser Scaup o - o o ___ Oldsquaw - - o o ___ White-winged Scoter - - - r ___ Common Goldeneye u - u u ___ Bufflehead u - u u ___ Hooded Merganser u r u u ___ Common Merganser u - u u ___ Red-breasted Merganser o - o o ___ Ruddy Duck u - u u
VULTURES, HAWKS, FALCONS Sp S F W ___ Black Vulture u u u u ___ Turkey Vulture* c c c c ___ Osprey* c c c - ___ Bald Eagle*# c c c c ___ Northern Harrier* c u c c ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk u - c u ___ Cooper's Hawk u u u u ___ Northern Goshawk - - - r ___ Red-shouldered Hawk o - o u ___ Broad-winged Hawk o - o - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* u u c c ___ Rough-legged Hawk o - u c ___ Golden Eagle o - o o ___ American Kestrel c o c c ___ Merlin o - u r ___ Peregrine Falcon# o - o r
GROUSE, QUAIL, TURKEY Sp S F W ___ Wild Turkey r r r r ___ Northern Bobwhite* c c c c
RAILS Sp S F W ___ Black Rail* r r r - ___ Clapper Rail* u u u r ___ King Rail* u u u u ___ Virginia Rail* c c c u ___ Sora u - u o ___ Common Moorhen u u u - ___ American Coot u o u u
PLOVERS, SANDPIPERS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover o - o r ___ American Golden Plover - - r - ___ Semipalmated Plover c u c - ___ Killdeer* c c c u ___ Black-necked Stilt o - - - ___ Greater Yellowlegs c c c o ___ Lesser Yellowlegs c u c o ___ Solitary Sandpiper u u u - ___ Willet* u u r - ___ Spotted Sandpiper u u u - ___ Upland Sandpiper - - r - ___ Whimbrel r - - - ___ Hudsonian Godwit - - r - ___ Ruddy Turnstone o - - - ___ Sanderling o - - - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper a a a - ___ Western Sandpiper - o u - ___ Least Sandpiper c c c - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper u o u - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper u u u - ___ Dunlin c o c u ___ Stilt Sandpiper r o u - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher u u u r ___ Long-billed Dowitcher r - u r ___ Common Snipe c o c u ___ American Woodcock* u u u o
GULLS, TERNS Sp S F W ___ Laughing Gull c c c - ___ Bonaparte's Gull o - o o ___ Ring-billed Gull c o c c ___ Herring Gull u u u c ___ Lesser Black-backed Gull o - o o ___ Great Black-backed Gull o - u u ___ Gull-billed Tern - r - - ___ Caspian Tern u o u - ___ Royal Tern - o o - ___ Common Tern o o o - ___ Forster's Tern c c c r ___ Least Tern# u u r - ___ Black Tern r o o -
DOVES, CUCKOOS, OWLS, SWIFTS, HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove* u u u u ___ Mourning Dove* c c a c ___ Black-billed Cuckoo u o u - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo* c c c - ___ Barn Owl* u u u u ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* c c c c ___ Great Horned Owl* c c c c ___ Barred Owl* u u u u ___ Long-eared Owl - - - r ___ Short-eared Owl o - o u ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl - - - r ___ Common Nighthawk* u u u - ___ Chuck-will's-widow u u o - ___ Whip-poor-will u u o - ___ Chimney Swift u u u - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird* c c c - ___ Belted Kingfisher* c o c u
WOODPECKERS, FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker u - u u ___ Downy Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Hairy Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Northern Flicker* c c c c ___ Pileated Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee* c c c - ___ Acadian Flycatcher* u u u - ___ Willow Flycatcher - o u - ___ Least Flycatcher r - r - ___ Eastern Phoebe* u o u r ___ Great Crested Flycatcher* c c c - ___ Western Kingbird - - r - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c c c -
LARKS, SWALLOWS, JAYS, CROWS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark* u u u u ___ Purple Martin* c c u - ___ Tree Swallow* c c a o ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow* u u u - ___ Bank Swallow u u u - ___ Cliff Swallow o - o - ___ Barn Swallow* a a a - ___ Blue Jay* c c c c ___ American Crow* c c c c ___ Fish Crow* c c c c
TITMICE, NUTHATCHES, WRENS Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee - - - r ___ Carolina Chickadee* c c c c ___ Tufted Titmouse* c c c c ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch u - u u ___ White-breasted Nuthatch u u u u ___ Brown-headed Nuthatch* u u u u ___ Brown Creeper u - u u ___ Carolina Wren* c c c c ___ House Wren* c c c o ___ Winter Wren u - u u ___ Sedge Wren o o o o ___ Marsh Wren* a a a u
KINGLETS, THRUSHES, THRASHERS Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet c - c c ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet c - c u ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* u u u - ___ Eastern Bluebird* c c c c ___ Veery u - u - ___ Gray-cheecked Thrush o - o - ___ Swainson's Thrush u - u - ___ Hermit Thrush u - u u ___ Wood Thrush* c c c - ___ American Robin* c c c u ___ Gray Catbird* c u c u ___ Northern Mockingbird* c c c c ___ Brown Thrasher* c u c u
WAXWINGS, SHRIKES, STARLING Sp S F W ___ American Pipit o - u u ___ Cedar Waxwing u o u u ___ Loggerhead Shrike o - o o ___ European Starling* a a a a
VIREOS, WOOD WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo* c c c - ___ Solitary Vireo o - o - ___ Yellow-throated Vireo* u r u - ___ Red-eyed Vireo* c c c - ___ Blue-winged Warbler u - u - ___ Golden-winged Warbler r - - - ___ Tennessee Warbler o - o - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler - - r r ___ Nashville Warbler o - o - ___ Northern Parula u - u - ___ Yellow Warbler* c c u - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler u - u - ___ Magnolia Warbler u - u - ___ Cape May Warbler o - u - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler u - u - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler a - a c ___ Blackburnian Warbler o - o - ___ Yellow-throated Warbler u o o - ___ Pine Warbler* c c c u ___ Prairie Warbler* u u u - ___ Palm Warbler u - u o ___ Bay-breasted Warbler o - o - ___ Blackpoll Warbler u - u - ___ Black-and-white Warbler u o c - ___ American Redstart u - c - ___ Prothonotary Warbler* u u r - ___ Worm-eating Warbler* u u o - ___ Ovenbird* c u c - ___ Northern Waterthrush o - u - ___ Louisiana Waterthrush o r o - ___ Kentucky Warbler* u u o - ___ Connecticut Warbler - - o - ___ Mourning Warbler - - o - ___ Common Yellowthroat* a c a o ___ Hooded Warbler o - o - ___ Wilson's Warbler o - r - ___ Canada Warbler u - u - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat* c c u o
TANAGERS, SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Summer Tanager* c c - - ___ Scarlet Tanager* u u u - ___ Northern Cardinal* c c c c ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak u - u - ___ Blue Grosbeak* c c u - ___ Indigo Bunting* c c u - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee* c c c u ___ American Tree Sparrow o - o o ___ Chipping Sparrow* c c c o ___ Field Sparrow* u u u u ___ Vesper Sparrow u - o r ___ Savannah Sparrow c - c u ___ Grasshopper Sparrow* u u u - ___ Henslow's Sparrow* r r - - ___ Sharp-tailed Sparrow* u u u o ___ Seaside Sparrow* c c u r ___ Fox Sparrow u - u u ___ Song Sparrow* u u a a ___ Lincoln's Sparrow - - o - ___ Swamp Sparrow* c - c c ___ White-throated Sparrow a - a a ___ White-crowned Sparrow o - o o ___ Dark-eyed Junco a - a a ___ Snow Bunting - - o o
BLACKBIRDS, FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Bobolink u o a - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* a a a a ___ Eastern Meadowlark c c c c ___ Rusty Blackbird u - u u ___ Boat-tailed Grackle o o o o ___ Common Grackle* a a a a ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* c c c c ___ Orchard Oriole* c c o - ___ Baltimore Oriole u - u - ___ Purple Finch u - u o ___ House Finch u o u u ___ Red Crossbill o - o r ___ White-winged Crossbill - - - r ___ Common Redpoll - - - r ___ Pine Siskin o - o u ___ American Goldfinch* c c c c ___ Evening Grosbeak o - o o ___ House Sparrow* c c c c
ACCIDENTALS - The following species have been seen on the Refuge one or two times:

___ Western Grebe                             ___ Red Knot
___ Red-throated Loon                         ___ Baird's Sandpiper
___ American White Pelican                    ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper
___ White Ibis                                ___ Red-necked Phalarope
___ Ross' Goose                               ___ Wilson's Phalarope
___ Mute Swan                                 ___ Ruff
___ Brant                                     ___ Roseate Tern
___ Barnacle Goose                            ___ Black Skimmer
___ Fulvous Whistling-Duck                    ___ Snowy Owl
___ American Swallow-tailed Kite              ___ Northern Shrike
___ Gyrfalcon                                 ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird
___ American Avocet                           ___ Brewer's Blackbird
___ Marbled Godwit

For further information contact:
                     Refuge Manager
                     Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
                     2145 Key Wallace Drive
                     Cambridge, Maryland 21613
                     Telephone: 410/228-2692

Blackwater is one of more than 500 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is a network of lands and waters managed specifically for the protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat and represents the most comprehensive wildlife resource management program in the world. Units of the system stretch across the United States from northern Alaska to the Florida Keys, and include small islands in the Caribbean and South Pacific. The character of the refuges is as diverse as the nation itself.

The Service also manages National Fish Hatcheries, and provides Federal leadership in habitat protection, fish and wildlife research, technical assistance and the conservation and protection of migratory birds, certain marine mammals and threatened and endangered species.


This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1992.  Birds of Blackwater National Wildlife 
     Refuge, Cambridge, Maryland.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1992.  Birds of Blackwater National Wildlife 
     Refuge, Cambridge, Maryland.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govblakwatr.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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