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Bird Checklists of the United States

Birds of Rhode Island

Charlestown, Rhode Island


There are five National Wildlife Refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Southern Rhode Island. A brief description of the habitats at each refuge is described below.

At the 407-acre Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge in Charlestown, habitat types include: grasslands, shrublands, freshwater ponds, salt marsh, a barrier beach, and a portion of the former Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Landing Field.

Habitat types at the 642-acre Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge in South Kingstown include a large brackish pond, freshwater ponds and streams, grasslands, shrublands, wooded uplands, and a barrier beach.

Habitat diversity at the 228-acre Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown consists of fresh and salt water marshes, a barrier beach, rocky shoreline, grasslands, and coastal shrublands.

The 69-acre Block Island National Wildlife Refuge is located at the northern end of Block Island, about 12 miles off the coast. It is typified by rolling dunes and associated coastal vegetation.

Habitat types at the 200-acre Pettaquamscutt Cove National Wildlife Refuge in South Kingstown and Narragansett include tidal salt marshes, tidal sand flats, grasslands, and shrublands.

This bird list contains almost 300 species of birds recorded on or near the refuges and an additional 29 accidental species (seen only once or twice in the area). Anyone identifying species not included here is asked to contact the Refuge Headquarters so that we may update our records.


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

Season
s - 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

If a species is apt to be limited to a particular refuge, location keys (N,T,S,P,B) are provided to indicate where the species can be seen. The first location letter identifies the best site to see the species.

Location Key
N - Ninigret
B - Block Island
T - Trustom Pond
P - Pettaquamscutt Cove
S - Sachuest Point
A - Found on all refuges


LOONS, GREBES                                   s        S       F       W

___ Red-throated Loon(A)                        c        -       c       c
___ Common Loon(A)                              c        o       c       c
___ Pied-billed Grebe*(T,N)                     c        o       c       u
___ Horned Grebe(A)                             c        o       u       c
___ Red-necked Grebe(A)                         u        -       u       u

SHEARWATERS-STORM PETRELS s S F W ___ Cory's Shearwater(B,S) - r r - ___ Greater Shearwater(B,S) - r r - ___ Sooty Shearwater(B,S) r r - - ___ Manx Shearwater(B,S) r r r - ___ Wilson's Storm-Petrel(B,S) - r r - ___ Leach's Storm-Petrel(B) - r - -
GANNET-CORMORANTS s S F W ___ Northern Gannet(A) u o u u ___ Great Cormorant(A) u - u u ___ Double-crested Cormorant(A) a c a u
BITTERNS-HERONS-IBISES s S F W ___ American Bittern*(N,T,S) u u u o ___ Least Bittern*(T,N,S) o o o - ___ Great Blue Heron(A) c u c u ___ Great Egret*(N,T,B) u u c o ___ Snowy Egret*(A) u c c - ___ Little Blue Heron(T,S,N) o o - - ___ Cattle Egret(T,S) o o o - ___ Green Heron*(A) c c c - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron*(B,A) u c c - ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron*(B) u u o - ___ Glossy Ibis(T,S,N) u u u -
SWANS-GEESE-DUCKS s S F W ___ Tundra Swan(T,N) r - r r ___ Mute Swan*(A) a a a c ___ Snow Goose(T,N,S,P) o - o o ___ Brant(A) u - u u ___ Canada Goose*(A) a c a a ___ Wood Duck*(T,N,P) u u u r ___ Green-winged Teal(A) c u c u ___ American Black Duck*(A) c c c a ___ Mallard*(A) c c a c ___ Northern Pintail(T) u - u o ___ Blue-winged Teal(T,N,S,P) c u u - ___ Northern Shoveler(T,S,P) o - o - ___ Gadwall*(T,N) c u c u ___ Eurasian Wigeon(T) r - r r ___ American Wigeon(T,S) c - c u ___ Canvasback(A) c o c o ___ Redhead(A) u - u o ___ Ring-necked Duck(N,T,P) u - u o ___ Greater Scaup(A) c o c c ___ Lesser Scaup(A) o - o o ___ Common Eider(A) u - u u ___ King Eider(A) r - r o ___ Harlequin Duck(S) u - u u ___ Oldsquaw(A) o r o o ___ Black Scoter(A) c o c c ___ Surf Scoter(A) c o c c ___ White-winged Scoter(A) c o c c ___ Common Goldeneye(A) c - c a ___ Barrow's Goldeneye(T,S) r - - r ___ Bufflehead(A) c - c c ___ Hooded Merganser(T,N) u - u u ___ Common Merganser(A) u - o u ___ Red-breasted Merganser(A) c o c c ___ Ruddy Duck(T,B,P) u - c u
VULTURES-HAWKS-FALCONS s S F W ___ Turkey Vulture(A) o o o - ___ Osprey*(T,N,P) u c c r ___ Bald Eagle(A) r - o r ___ Northern Harrier(A) u u u o ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk(A) u - u o ___ Cooper's Hawk(A) u - u o ___ Northern Goshawk(A) r - r r ___ Red-shouldered Hawk(A) o o o - ___ Broad-winged Hawk(A) u u u - ___ Red-tailed Hawk(A) u u u u ___ Rough-legged Hawk(A) u - u u ___ Golden Eagle(A) r - r r ___ American Kestrel*(A) u c c o ___ Merlin(A) u - u o ___ Peregrine Falcon(A) r r o -
GROUSE-QUAIL-TURKEY s S F W ___ Ring-necked Pheasant*(S,T,B) u u u u ___ Ruffed Grouse*(T,N) u u u u ___ Northern Bobwhite*(T,N) c c c u
RAILS-CRANES s S F W ___ Clapper Rail(N) r r r r ___ King Rail(T) r r r - ___ Virginia Rail*(A) o u u r ___ Sora(A) o o o - ___ Common Moorhen*(T,S,P) o u u - ___ American Coot(T,P) c - c o
PLOVERS-SANDPIPERS s S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover(A) c u c o ___ American Golden Plover(A) r r o - ___ Semipalmated Plover(A) c o u - ___ Piping Plover*(T,N) o u o - ___ Killdeer*(A) u u u o ___ American Oystercatcher*(T,B) u u o - ___ Greater Yellowlegs(A) c c u o ___ Lesser Yellowlegs(A) c u u - ___ Solitary Sandpiper(A) o o o - ___ Willet*(A) r - r - ___ Spotted Sandpiper*(A) c u c - ___ Upland Sandpiper(A) r r r - ___ Whimbrel(A) o - o - ___ Ruddy Turnstone(T,S,B,P) c u c - ___ Red Knot(A) o o r - ___ Sanderling(A) c u c c ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper(A) a a u - ___ Western Sandpiper(A) - o o - ___ Least Sandpiper(A) a a c - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper(A) o o u - ___ Baird's Sandpiper(A) - o o - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper(A) u o o - ___ Purple Sandpiper(S) c - o c ___ Dunlin(A) c o c c ___ Stilt Sandpiper(A) r o r - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper(A) - r r - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher(A) c c u - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher(A) - o o - ___ Common Snipe(A) u o u r ___ American Woodcock*(N,T) u u u r ___ Wilson's Phalarope(A) r - r - ___ Red-necked Phalarope(A) r - r - ___ Red Phalarope(A) r - r -
JAEGERS-GULLS-TERNS-AUKS s S F W ___ Pomarine Jaeger(S,B) - r r - ___ Parasitic Jaeger(S,B) r r r - ___ Long-tailed Jaeger(S,B) - r r - ___ Laughing Gull(A) o c u - ___ Common Black-headed Gull(A) o - r o ___ Bonaparte's Gull(A) u r u u ___ Ring-billed Gull(A) c u c c ___ Herring Gull*(A) a a a a ___ Iceland Gull(A) r - r - ___ Lesser Black-backed Gull(B,S) - r r r ___ Glaucous Gull(A) r - r r ___ Great Black-backed Gull*(A) a a a a ___ Black-legged Kittiwake(A) o - o o ___ Gull-billed Tern(A) - r r - ___ Caspian Tern(A) o o o - ___ Royal Tern(A) - o o - ___ Roseate Tern(A) u u u - ___ Common Tern*(A) u c u - ___ Forster's Tern(A) - u u - ___ Least Tern*(A) u c u - ___ Black Tern(A) r r r - ___ Black Skimmer(T,N) - r - - ___ Dovekie(S,B) r - o r ___ Thick-billed Murre(S,B) r - r r ___ Razorbill(S,B) r - r r
DOVES-CUCKOOS-OWLS-SWIFTS-HUMMINGBIRD s S F W ___ Rock Dove(A) o o o o ___ Mourning Dove*(A) c c c u ___ Black-billed Cuckoo*(A) u u u - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo(A) o o o - ___ Barn Owl(A) r r r r ___ Eastern Screech-Owl(N,T,P) o o o o ___ Great Horned Owl*(N,T,P) o o o o ___ Snowy Owl(A) o - o o ___ Barred Owl*(T,N,P) o o o o ___ Short-eared Owl(A) u - u o ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl(T,N) r - - r ___ Common Nighthawk(N,T) r r r - ___ Whip-poor-will*(N,T) u u u - ___ Chimney Swift(A) o o o - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird*(N,T,S,P) o o o - ___ Belted Kingfisher*(A) u c c u
WOODPECKERS-FLYCATCHERS s S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker(T,N) r - r - ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker(T,N) r - r - ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker(T,N) o - o r ___ Downy Woodpecker*(N,T,P) u u c u ___ Hairy Woodpecker*(N,T,P) u u u u ___ Northern Flicker*(N,T,S,P) c c c u ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee*(T,N) u o u - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher(T,N) - - r - ___ Alder Flycatcher(T,N) r - r - ___ Willow Flycatcher*(T,N,S,P) u u u - ___ Least Flycatcher(N,T,P) r r r - ___ Eastern Phoebe*(N,T,S,P) u u c o ___ Great Crested Flycatcher*(T,N,S,P) o o o - ___ Eastern Kingbird*(T,N,S,P) u c u o
LARKS-SWALLOWS-JAYS-CROWS s S F W ___ Horned Lark(A) u - u u ___ Purple Martin(A) o o o - ___ Tree Swallow*(A) u c r a ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow(A) u u o - ___ Bank Swallow*(A) r r r - ___ Cliff Swallow(A) o o o - ___ Barn Swallow*(A) c c c - ___ Blue Jay*(A) c c c c ___ American Crow*(A) c c c c ___ Fish Crow(A) r r o o
TITMICE-NUTHATCHES-WRENS s S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee*(A) a a a a ___ Tufted Titmouse*(T,N,S,P) a a a a ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch(N,T,P) o - o o ___ White-breasted Nuthatch*(N,T,P) c u c u ___ Brown Creeper*(N,T,P) o - o o ___ Carolina Wren*(A) u u c u ___ House Wren*(A) c c c r ___ Winter Wren(A) o - o r ___ Sedge Wren(S,N,T,P) r - r - ___ Marsh Wren*(S,N,T,P) u c c r
KINGLETS-THRUSHES-THRASHERS s S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet(T,N,S,P) o - u u ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet(T,N,S,P) o - u c ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher*(T,N) r r r - ___ Eastern Bluebird*(A) o u o u ___ Veery*(N,T,P) o o o - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush(N,T) - - o - ___ Swainson's Thrush(N,T) u - o - ___ Hermit Thrush(N,T) o u o - ___ Wood Thrush*(N,T,P) u c u - ___ American Robin*(A) c c c c ___ Gray Catbird*(N,T,P,S) a a a o ___ Northern Mockingbird*(N,T,P,S) c c c u ___ Brown Thrasher*(N,T,P) c c c o
WAXWINGS-SHRIKES-STARLINGS s S F W ___ American Pipit(T,N) u - u o ___ Cedar Waxwing*(A) c u c c ___ Northern Shrike(A) r - r r ___ Loggerhead Shrike(A) o - o o ___ European Starling*(S,N,P,T) c c a u
VIREOS-WOOD WARBLERS s S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo*(N,T,S,P) u u u - ___ Solitary Vireo(N,T) o - o - ___ Warbling Vireo(T,N,P) o - o - ___ Philadelphia Vireo(T,N) - - r - ___ Red-eyed Vireo*(T,N,P) u u u - ___ Blue-winged Warbler*(A) c c u - ___ Golden-winged Warbler(A) r r r - ___ Tennessee Warbler(A) o - o - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler(A) o - o - ___ Nashville Warbler(A) r - r - ___ Northern Parula(A) o - o - ___ Yellow Warbler*(A) c c u - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler*(A) o u u - ___ Magnolia Warbler(A) o r o - ___ Cape May Warbler(A) r r r - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler(A) r r o - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler(A) c o a a ___ Blackburnian Warbler(A) r - r - ___ Pine Warbler(A) r - r - ___ Prairie Warbler*(A) u u u - ___ Palm Warbler(A) u - u r ___ Bay-breasted Warbler(A) o - o - ___ Blackpoll Warbler(A) o - o - ___ Black-and-white Warbler*(A) u c u - ___ American Redstart*(A) o u u - ___ Prothonotary Warbler)(A) r - - - ___ Worm-eating Warbler(A) - r r - ___ Ovenbird*(A) u u u - ___ Northern Waterthrush*(A) o u u - ___ Connecticut Warbler(A) - - u - ___ Mourning Warbler(A) - - u - ___ Common Yellowthroat*(A) u a c o ___ Hooded Warbler(A) r r r - ___ Wilson's Warbler(A) r - r - ___ Canada Warbler*(A) o o o - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat*(A) r r r -
TANAGERS-SPARROWS s S F W ___ Summer Tanager(T,N) r - r - ___ Scarlet Tanager*(T,N,P) o o o - ___ Northern Cardinal*(A) c c c c ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak(A) o - o - ___ Blue Grosbeak(T) - - r - ___ Indigo Bunting(A) o o o - ___ Dickcissel(T) - - r - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee*(N,T,P,S) c c c o ___ American Tree Sparrow(N,T,S,P) c - u c ___ Chipping Sparrow*(T,N,P,S) u u u o ___ Field Sparrow*(N,T,P,S) u u u o ___ Vesper Sparrow(T) r - r - ___ Lark Sparrow(T) - - r - ___ Savannah Sparrow*(A) u c c o ___ Grasshopper Sparrow(N,T) r r r - ___ Sharp-tailed Sparrow*(A) o u u - ___ Seaside Sparrow*(A) o u u - ___ Fox Sparrow(N,T,S,P) u - u u ___ Song Sparrow*(A) c c a c ___ Lincoln's Sparrow(N,T) - - u - ___ Swamp Sparrow*(N,T,S,P) u u c o ___ White-throated Sparrow(N,T,S,P) u - c c ___ White-crowned Sparrow(N,T,S,P) u - u o ___ Dark-eyed Junco(A) u - c c ___ Lapland Longspur(N,T,S) o - o o ___ Snow Bunting(A) o - o o
BLACKBIRDS-ORIOLE-FINCHES s S F W ___ Bobolink*(T,S,N) u c u - ___ Red-winged Blackbird*(A) a a c o ___ Eastern Meadowlark*(S,T,N,P) c c c u ___ Rusty Blackbird(A) o - r o ___ Common Grackle*(A) c c c u ___ Brown-headed Cowbird*(A) c c u o ___ Orchard Oriole*(T,N) o o - - ___ Northern Oriole*(T,N) o o o - ___ Pine Grosbeak(T,N) - - - r ___ Purple Finch*(A) o o o o ___ House Finch*(A) u u u u ___ Red Crossbill(T,N) r - - r ___ Common Redpoll(A) o - - o ___ Pine Siskin(T,N,P) o - o o ___ American Goldfinch*(A) c c c u ___ Evening Grosbeak(T,N,P) o - o o ___ House Sparrow*(A) o o o o
These additional 29 species, generally out of their normal ranges, have been recorded locally. Birds classified as rare in the main list are within their distributional limits but rare for other reasons.
Pacific Loon(S)
Eared Grebe(S)
Red-billed Tropicbird(T)
Magnificent Frigatebird(S)
Tufted Duck(P,T)
Fulvous Whistling Duck(T)
Smew(S)
Eurasian Green-winged Teal(T)
Barnacle Goose(T)
White-fronted Goose(T)
Swallow-tailed Kite(N)
Swainson's Hawk(S)
Hudsonian Godwit(N)
Marbled Godwit(T,N)
Black-necked Stilt(T)
American Avocet(T)
Curlew Sandpiper(T)
Ruff(S)
Black-tailed Gull(S)
Ivory Gull(N)
Sooty Tern(T)
Bridled Tern(T)
Brown Noddy(T)
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher(T)
Northern Wheatear(N)
Hoary Redpoll(T)
Henslow's Sparrow(T)
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Smith's Longspur(T)

NOTES Location_____________________________________________________________________ Date_________________________________ Time___________________________________ Observers____________________________________________________________________ Weather______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________

Ninigret is one of over 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 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, technical assistance, and the conservation and protection of migratory birds, certain marine mammals and threatened and endangered species.


For further information, contact:
                     Refuge Manager
                     Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge
                     P.O. Box 370 
                     Charlestown, RI 02813
                     Telephone: 401/364-9124

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1996.  Birds of the National Wildlife Refuges 
    of Rhode Island, Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, Charlestown, Rhode 
    Island.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1996.  Birds of the National Wildlife Refuges 
     of Rhode Island, Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, Charlestown, Rhode 
     Island.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: 
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govninigret.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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