Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Guys Mills, Pennsylvania
Erie National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1959, is located in Crawford County in northwestern Pennsylvania. The refuge consists of two separate land units. The Sugar Lake Division, containing 5,206 acres, is 10 miles east of Meadville on the outskirts of the village of Guys Mills. The Seneca Division, containing 3,571 acres, is 10 miles north of the Sugar Lake Division near Cambridge Springs.
Forests, swamps, beaver ponds, man-made impoundments, grasslands and croplands make up the diverse habitats which have attracted 237 species of birds. An additional 14 species have been observed only one or two times and are listed separately as accidentals.
Waterfowl migrations occur in March to early April and again from September to November. There are more wood ducks nesting on the refuge than any other duck and a good place to watch them during the spring migration is from our observation blind. In the spring, goslings and their parents also can be seen as they travel back and forth from Pool C to the Entrance Road Pond.
Spring and summer is the time to look for nesting songbirds. Look for the Henslow's Sparrow, a rare bird in most areas of the United States. This sparrow is secretive and usually sings its "slick" song from a low perch.
Shorebirds, such as sandpipers and yellowlegs, can be seen in small groups feeding on mudflats during the summer and fall. On a winter walk black-capped chickadees, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers and dark-eyed juncos are easy to spot.
This list follows the Fortieth Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Checklist of North American Birds.
s - Spring - March - May
S - Summer - June - August
F - Fall - September - November
W - Winter - December - February
a - abundant: a species which is very numerous
c - common: certain 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 the season
r - rare: seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years
* - Birds known to nest on or near the refuge
Italics indicate threatened/endangered species
LOONS - GREBES s S F W ___ Common Loon o - o - ___*Pied-billed Grebe u u u r ___ Horned Grebe o - o -
GANNETS - PELICANS - CORMORANTS s S F W ___ Double-crested Cormorant r - r -
BITTERNS - HERONS - IBISES s S F W ___ American Bittern u u u - ___*Great Blue Heron c c c u ___ Great Egret r r r - ___ Little Blue Heron r - - - ___*Green Heron u c u - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron r r r -
SWANS - GEESE - DUCKS s S F W ___ Tundra Swan o - o o ___ Snow Goose r - r r ___*Canada Goose c c c c ___*Wood Duck c c c o ___ Green-winged Teal c - c r ___*American Black Duck o o o u ___*Mallard c c c c ___ Northern Pintail o - o r ___*Blue-winged Teal c u c r ___ Northern Shoveler o - o r ___ Gadwall u - u r ___ Eurasian Wigeon r - - - ___ American Wigeon c r c r ___ Canvasback o - o r ___ Redhead o - o r ___ Ring-necked Duck c r c o ___ Greater Scaup r - r r ___ Lesser Scaup o - o r ___ Common Goldeneye o - o o ___ Bufflehead c - c o ___*Hooded Merganser c c c r ___ Common Merganser o - o - ___ Red-breasted Merganser o - o r ___ Ruddy Duck o - o r
VULTURES - HAWKS - FALCONS s S F W ___ Turkey Vulture u u u - ___ Osprey o - o - ___*Bald Eagle u u u o ___*Northern Harrier o r r r ___*Sharp-shinned Hawk o r o o ___*Cooper's Hawk o r o r ___ Northern Goshawk r - r r ___*Red-shouldered Hawk u u u o ___*Broad-winged Hawk u u u - ___*Red-tailed Hawk c c c c ___ Rough-legged Hawk - - - r ___*American Kestrel u u u r ___ Merlin r - r r ___ Peregrine Falcon r - r r
GROUSE - QUAIL - TURKEY s S F W ___*Ring-necked Pheasant u u u u ___*Ruffed Grouse c c c c ___*Wild Turkey o u u u ___ Northern Bobwhite r r r r
RAILS - CRANES s S F W ___*Virginia Rail u u u - ___*Sora u u u - ___ Common Moorhen o o r - ___*American Coot u u u r ___ Sandhill Crane u u u -
PLOVERS - SANDPIPERS s S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover - - r - ___ American Golden-Plover - - r - ___ Semipalmated Plover u - u - ___*Killdeer c c c r ___ Greater Yellowlegs u o u - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs u o u - ___ Solitary Sandpiper u o u - ___ Willet r - - - ___*Spotted Sandpiper u u u - ___ Upland Sandpiper r r - - ___ Whimbrel r - r - ___ Hudsonian Godwit - - r - ___ Ruddy Turnstone r - r - ___ Red Knot r - r - ___ Sanderling r - r - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper r - u - ___ Least Sandpiper u - u - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper - - r - ___ Baird's Sandpiper - - r - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper u - u - ___ Dunlin u - u - ___ Stilt Sandpiper - r r - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper - - r - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher u - u - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher - - r - ___*Common Snipe u u u - ___*American Woodcock c u c -
JAEGERS - GULLS - TERNS - AUKS s S F W ___ Bonaparte's Gull o - o o ___ Ring-billed Gull o - o - ___ Herring Gull o - o - ___ Common Tern r - r - ___ Forster's Tern r - r - ___ Black Tern r - r -
DOVES - PARROTS - CUCKOOS - OWLS - SWIFTS - HUMMINGBIRDS s S F W ___*Rock Dove c c c c ___*Mourning Dove c c c c ___*Black-billed Cuckoo c c c - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo u u u - ___*Barn Owl r r r r ___*Eastern Screech-Owl u u u u ___*Great Horned Owl c c c c ___ Snowy Owl - - - r ___*Barred Owl c c c c ___ Long-eared Owl r r r r ___ Short-eared Owl r - r - ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl - - - r ___*Common Nighthawk - c - - ___ Whip-poor-will - r - - ___*Chimney Swift c c c - ___*Ruby-throated Hummingbird u u - - ___*Belted Kingfisher c c c o
WOODPECKERS - FLYCATCHERS s S F W ___*Red-headed Woodpecker u u u - ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker r r r r ___*Yellow-bellied Sapsucker u c c - ___*Downy Woodpecker c c c c ___*Hairy Woodpecker u u u u ___*Northern Flicker c c c c ___*Pileated Woodpecker u u u u ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher r - r - ___*Eastern Wood-Pewee c c c - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher r - r - ___*Acadian Flycatcher u u u - ___ Alder Flycatcher o - o - ___*Willow Flycatcher c c c - ___*Least Flycatcher c u c - ___*Eastern Phoebe c c c - ___*Great Crested Flycatcher u c c - ___*Eastern Kingbird c c c -
LARKS - SWALLOWS - JAYS - CROWS s S F W ___ Horned Lark u o u o ___ Purple Martin u c c - ___*Tree Swallow a a a - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow o o o - ___*Bank Swallow c c c - ___ Cliff Swallow r r r - ___*Barn Swallow c a a - ___*Blue Jay a a a a ___*American Crow a a a u
TITMICE - NUTHATCHES - WRENS s S F W ___*Black-capped Chickadee a a a a ___*Tufted Titmouse u u u u ___*Red-breasted Nuthatch u r u u ___*White-breasted Nuthatch c c c c ___*Brown Creeper u u u u ___*Carolina Wren r r r - ___*House Wren c a c - ___ Winter Wren o - o o ___ Sedge Wren - r - - ___ Marsh Wren - r - -
KINGLETS - THRUSHES - THRASHERS s S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet u - c u ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet u - c r ___*Blue-gray Gnatcatcher u u u - ___*Eastern Bluebird c u u o ___*Veery c c c - ___ Bicknell's Thrush c - c - ___ Swainson's Thrush c - c - ___ Hermit Thrush c r c - ___*Wood Thrush c c c - ___*American Robin a a a o ___*Gray Catbird c c c r ___ Northern Mockingbird r r r - ___*Brown Thrasher u u u -
WAXWINGS - SHRIKES - STARLINGS s S F W ___ American Pipit r - r - ___ Cedar Waxwing c a a u ___ Northern Shrike - - - r ___*European Starling a a a u
VIREOS - WOOD WARBLERS s S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo r - r - ___*Solitary Vireo u r u - ___*Yellow-throated Vireo o r o - ___*Warbling Vireo u c u - ___ Philadelphia Vireo r - r - ___*Red-eyed Vireo c a a - ___*Blue-winged Warbler c c c - ___ Tennessee Warbler a - a - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler - - r - ___*Nashville Warbler c r c - ___ Northern Parula o - o - ___*Yellow Warbler a a a - ___*Chestnut-sided Warbler c o c - ___*Magnolia Warbler c r c - ___ Cape May Warbler c - c - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler u - u - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler a - a o ___*Black-throated Green Warbler c c c - ___*Blackburnian Warbler c u c - ___ Pine Warbler r r r - ___ Prairie Warbler r - - - ___ Palm Warbler u - u - ___ Bay-breasted Warbler u - u - ___ Blackpoll Warbler u - u - ___ Cerulean Warbler r r r - ___ Black-and-white Warbler u r u - ___ *American Redstart c o c - ___ Prothonotary Warbler r - r - ___*Ovenbird c c c - ___*Northern Waterthrush u c u - ___*Louisiana Waterthrush u u u - ___ Kentucky Warbler - r - - ___ Connecticut Warbler r - r - ___*Mourning Warbler u u u - ___*Common Yellowthroat a a a - ___*Hooded Warbler c c c - ___ Wilson's Warbler u - u - ___*Canada Warbler u o u - ___*Yellow-breasted Chat u u o -
TANAGERS - SPARROWS s S F W ___*Scarlet Tanager c c c - ___*Northern Cardinal c c c c ___*Rose-breasted Grosbeak c c c - ___*Indigo Bunting c c c - ___*Eastern Towhee c c c - ___ American Tree Sparrow c - c a ___*Chipping Sparrow c c c - ___*Field Sparrow c c c r ___*Vesper Sparrow o o o - ___*Savannah Sparrow o o o - ___ Grasshopper Sparrow u u u - ___*Henslow's Sparrow u u u - ___ Fox Sparrow o - o - ___*Song Sparrow a a a c ___ Lincoln's Sparrow r - r - ___*Swamp Sparrow a a a u ___ White-throated Sparrow c - c a ___ White-crowned Sparrow u - u - ___ Dark-eyed Junco c - c a ___ Snow Bunting - - o o
BLACKBIRDS - FINCHES s S F W ___*Bobolink u c u - ___*Red-winged Blackbird a a a r ___*Eastern Meadowlark u c c r ___ Rusty Blackbird u - u - ___*Common Grackle a a a o ___*Brown-headed Cowbird c c c o ___ Orchard Oriole o r o - ___*Baltimore Oriole c c c - ___ Pine Grosbeak - - - r ___*Purple Finch u u u u ___*House Finch o o o o ___ Red Crossbill - - - r ___ White-winged Crossbill - - - r ___ Common Redpoll - - - r ___ Pine Siskin o - o o ___*American Goldfinch a a a c ___ Evening Grosbeak o - o c ___*House Sparrow a a a a
ACCIDENTALS (only 1 or 2 records) ___ Red-throated Loon ___ Gyrfalcon ___ Least Bittern ___ Three-toed Woodpecker ___ Oldsquaw ___ Black-backed Woodpecker ___ Black Scoter ___ Blue Grosbeak ___ Surf Scoter ___ Dickcissel ___ White-winged Scoter ___ Lapland's Longspur ___ Golden Eagle ___ Brewer's Blackbird
Refuge Manager Erie National Wildlife Refuge 11296 Wood Duck Lane Guys Mills, Pennsylvania 16327 Telephone: 814/789-3585 Hearing impaired visitors may call the Pennsylvania Relay Center at 1-800-654-5984 TDD/1-800-654-5988 voice.
The Service also manages national fish hatcheries, and provides federal leadership in habitat protection, technical assistance, and the conservation and protection of migratory birds, certain marine mammals and threatened and endangered species.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. September 1996. Erie National Wildlife Refuge. Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Unpaginated.This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. September 1996. Erie National Wildlife Refuge. Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Unpaginated. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.govmaycount.htm (Version 30DEC2002).