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Bird Checklists of the United States

Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

small state map showing location

Sudbury, Massachusetts


Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Sudbury and Concord Rivers in the towns of Sudbury, Wayland, Lincoln, Concord, Bedford, Carlisle, and Billerica, Massachusetts. It was established in 1944 to protect and manage freshwater wetlands for migratory birds.

The refuge now is composed of approximately 3,000 acres of diverse habitat, including open water, marshes and upland. The wetland portions receive heavy use by waterfowl during the fall migration. All of the 221 species of birds listed here have been recorded in the past ten years.

This list was prepared in cooperation with the Massachusetts Audubon Society, with assistance from author Richard Walton and other knowledgeable local birders. The species are listed in accordance with the Sixth American Ornithologists Union Checklist.


Most birds are migratory; 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: 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 a season
r - rare: seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years
* - nesting has occurred on the refuge


LOONS, GREBES, CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ Common Loon r - r - ___ Pied-billed Grebe u o - u ___ Horned Grebe r - r - ___ Double-crested Cormorant o - o -
BITTERNS, HERONS, IBISES Sp S F W ___ American Bittern* u u u - ___ Least Bittern* r r r - ___ Great Blue Heron u c c r ___ Great Egret - o r - ___ Snowy Egret - o r - ___ Little Blue Heron r r - - ___ Cattle Egret r - r - ___ Green Heron* u u c - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron r c u - ___ Glossy Ibis r o r -
SWANS, GEESE, DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Mute Swan r r r - ___ Snow Goose r - r - ___ Canada Goose* a c a u ___ Wood Duck* c c a r ___ Green-winged Teal* c o a o ___ American Black Duck* c c a o ___ Mallard* a c a u ___ Northern Pintail u - u o ___ Blue-winged Teal* c o a - ___ Northern Shoveler o - u - ___ Gadwall* u o u u ___ Eurasian Wigeon r - r - ___ American Wigeon u - a o ___ Canvasback r - r - ___ Redhead r - r - ___ Ring-necked Duck a - o - ___ Greater Scaup r - r - ___ Lesser Scaup o - o - ___ Common Goldeneye u - r r ___ Bufflehead u - o r ___ Hooded Merganser u r o - ___ Common Merganser u - r r ___ Red-breasted Merganser r - - r ___ Ruddy Duck r - o -
VULTURES, HAWKS, FALCONS Sp S F W ___ Turkey Vulture o - r - ___ Osprey u r u - ___ Bald Eagle r - r r ___ Northern Harrier o r u r ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk o - u r ___ Cooper's Hawk r - r r ___ Northern Goshawk o o o o ___ Red-shouldered Hawk o r r - ___ Broad-winged Hawk* u u c - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* c u c c ___ Rough-legged Hawk o - - o ___ American Kestrel* u u u u ___ Merlin r - o - ___ Peregrine Falcon r - o -
GROUSE, QUAIL, TURKEY Sp S F W ___ Ring-necked Pheasant* c c c c ___ Ruffed Grouse* u u u u ___ Northern Bobwhite r r r r
RAILS, CRANES Sp S F W ___ Yellow Rail - - r - ___ King Rail r r r - ___ Virginia Rail* u u u o ___ Sora* u u c r ___ Common Moorhen* u u u - ___ American Coot* o - c r
PLOVERS, SANDPIPERS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover - - o - ___ American Golden Plover - - o - ___ Semipalmated Plover r - o - ___ Killdeer* u u c - ___ Greater Yellowlegs o r o - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs r o o - ___ Solitary Sandpiper u u u - ___ Spotted Sandpiper* u c u - ___ Hudsonian Godwit - - r - ___ Sanderling - r - - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper r u u - ___ Western Sandpiper - r r - ___ Least Sandpiper o c o - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper - r o - ___ Baird's Sandpiper - r r - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper o u u - ___ Dunlin - - o - ___ Stilt Sandpiper - r r - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher - r r - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher - - r - ___ Common Snipe u - u r ___ American Woodcock* u o u r ___ Wilson's Phalarope r r r - ___ Red-necked Phalarope - r r - ___ Red Phalarope r - r -
GULLS, TERNS Sp S F W ___ Ring-billed Gull u u u - ___ Herring Gull c c c c ___ Iceland Gull r - - r ___ Glaucous Gull r - - r ___ Great Black-backed Gull u o u c ___ Common Tern r r r - ___ Black Tern r o - -
DOVES, CUCKOOS, OWLS, SWIFTS, HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove* u u u o ___ Mourning Dove* c c c o ___ Black-billed Cuckoo u u u - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo* o o o - ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* u u u u ___ Great Horned Owl* u u u u ___ Barred Owl* r r o o ___ Short-eared Owl - - r r ___ Common Nighthawk u u u - ___ Whip-poor-will r r r - ___ Chimney Swift c c u - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird* o o u - ___ Belted Kingfisher* u u u r
WOODPECKERS, FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker r - - r ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker r - - r ___ Downy Woodpecker* c c c c ___ Hairy Woodpecker* c u c c ___ Northern Flicker* c c c o ___ Pileated Woodpecker o o o o ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher r - r - ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee* u u o - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - - r - ___ Alder Flycatcher* o o - - ___ Willow Flycatcher* u c - - ___ Least Flycatcher r - r - ___ Eastern Phoebe* c c u - ___ Great Crested Flycatcher* u u - - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c c o -
LARKS, SWALLOWS, JAYS, CROWS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark o - o o ___ Purple Martin r - - - ___ Tree Swallow* a c a - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow* u u - - ___ Bank Swallow* c c u - ___ Cliff Swallow o o o - ___ Barn Swallow* a c a - ___ Blue Jay* c c a - ___ American Crow* c c a a ___ Fish Crow* u u u u
TITMICE, NUTHATCHES, WRENS Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee* c c a c ___ Tufted Titmouse* c u c c ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch o r u o ___ White-breasted Nuthatch* c c c c ___ Brown Creeper* u u u u ___ House Wren* c o u - ___ Winter Wren r - o r ___ Sedge Wren r r r - ___ Marsh Wren* c c u r
KINGLETS, THRUSHES, THRASHERS Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet o - u o ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet c - c r ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* o o - - ___ Eastern Bluebird r r r - ___ Veery* u u o - ___ Gray-cheecked Thrush r - o - ___ Swainson's Thrush r o u - ___ Hermit Thrush u - u r ___ Wood Thrush* c u u - ___ American Robin* c c c u ___ Gray Catbird* c c u r ___ Northern Mockingbird* c c c c ___ Brown Thrasher* u u o r
WAXWINGS, SHRIKES, STARLING Sp S F W ___ American Pipit o - o - ___ Cedar Waxwing* u u c o ___ Northern Shrike o - o u ___ Loggerhead Shrike - - r r ___ European Starling* a a a a
VIREOS, WOOD WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo r r - - ___ Solitary Vireo u - o - ___ Yellow-throated Vireo* o o - - ___ Warbling Vireo* u c o - ___ Red-eyed Vireo* c c c - ___ Blue-winged Warbler* o o - - ___ Golden-winged Warbler r - - - ___ Tennessee Warbler u - u - ___ Nashville Warbler u o o - ___ Northern Parula u - o - ___ Yellow Warbler* c a o - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler* o r o - ___ Magnolia Warbler u - o - ___ Cape May Warbler o - u - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler o - o - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c - c o ___ Black-throated Green Warbler u - u - ___ Blackburnian Warbler o - o - ___ Pine Warbler u o r - ___ Prairie Warbler* o o o - ___ Palm Warbler c - u r ___ Bay-breasted Warbler o - o - ___ Blackpoll Warbler c o a - ___ Black-and-white Warbler* c o o - ___ American Redstart* c o u - ___ Ovenbird* u u o - ___ Northern Waterthrush u r u - ___ Mourning Warbler r - r - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c c c r ___ Wilson's Warbler o - o - ___ Canada Warbler o - o - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat r - r -
TANAGERS, SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Scarlet Tanager* c u o - ___ Northern Cardinal* u u u u ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak* c u o - ___ Indigo Bunting* u u u - ___ Dickcissel - - r - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee* c u u r ___ American Tree Sparrow u - c c ___ Chipping Sparrow* u c u - ___ Field Sparrow* u u u r ___ Vesper Sparrow o - o - ___ Savannah Sparrow u r c r ___ Sharp-tailed Sparrow - - o - ___ Fox Sparrow o - o r ___ Song Sparrow* c c c u ___ Lincoln's Sparrow r - u - ___ Swamp Sparrow* c c c o ___ White-throated Sparrow c - c o ___ White-crowned Sparrow o - o - ___ Dark-eyed Junco c - c c ___ Snow Bunting o - o o
BLACKBIRDS, FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Bobolink u u c - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* a a a o ___ Eastern Meadowlark u o o r ___ Rusty Blackbird c - c r ___ Common Grackle* c c a r ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* c c c o ___ Orchard Oriole r r - - ___ Baltimore Oriole* c u o - ___ Pine Grosbeak - - - r ___ Purple Finch u u u u ___ House Finch u u u u ___ Common Redpoll o - - o ___ Pine Siskin o - o o ___ American Goldfinch* c c c o ___ Evening Grosbeak o - o u ___ House Sparrow* c c c c
An additional list of accidental species seen only once or twice on the refuge is available on request. For further information contact:
                     Refuge Manager
                     Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
                     Weir Hill Road
                     Sudbury, Massachusetts 01776
                     Telephone: 508/443-4661

As the Nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for most of our nationally owned public lands and natural resources. This includes fostering the wisest use of our land and water resources, protecting our fish and wildlife, preserving the environmental and cultural values of our national parks and historical places, and providing for the enjoyment of life through outdoor recreation. The Department assesses our energy and mineral resources and works to assure that their development is in the best interests of all our people. The Department also has a major responsibility for American Indian reservation communities and for people who live in island territories under U.S. administration.
This resource is based on the following source:
Massachusetts Audubon Society, Walton, R.  1985.  Birds of Great Meadows 
     National Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  
     Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
Massachusetts Audubon Society, Walton, R.  1985.  Birds of Great Meadows 
     National Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
     Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govmeadows.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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