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Bird Checklists of the United States

Patuxent Research Refuge

small state map showing location

Laurel, Maryland


The Refuge offers a variety of habitats including lakes, rivers, marshes, open fields, pine forests, early successional forest, and hardwood forest.

Sightings on this list represent observations made by staff, volunteers, and visitors since 1992. Please note in the Wildlife Sightings log at the Visitor Contact Station/Wildlife Visitors Center any species seen that are not on the list.


The seasonal occurrence and habitats of the various species are coded as follows:

1. Where: (Preferred habitat at the Refuge)
E - Edge (woods, hedgerows, thickets)
F - Forest/Woods
FC - Predominately Coniferous
FD - Predominately Deciduous
FM - Mixed conif. & decid.
O - Open area (fields, clearings)
S - Sky
W - Wet area
WL - Lake, Pond
WR - River, Stream
WW - Wetland, Marsh
# - Throughout the Refuge

2. When: (Time of year found at the Refuge)
Y - Year-round resident
M - Migrates through area
MS - Springly Migrant
MF - Fall Migrant
MB - Both Spring & Fall
S - Summer
SR - Summer Resident (may breed at Refuge)
SR$ - Confirmed breeding
WV - Winter visitor
%S - Southern extent of range
%N - Northern extent of range

(R) - Rarely noted on refuge
(V) - Vagrant (Outside of normal range)
! - More often heard than seen


LOON WHERE WHEN ___ Common Loon S MS
GREBES WHERE WHEN ___ Pied-billed Grebe WL Y ___ Horned Grebe WL M(R)
CORMORANTS WHERE WHEN ___ Double-crested Cormorant WL MB
HERONS/ALLIES WHERE WHEN ___ American Bittern WM Y ___ Least Bittern WM SR ___ Great Blue Heron W Y ___ Great Egret W S ___ Snowy Egret W S(R) ___ Little Blue Heron W SR ___ Cattle Egret W MS ___ Green Heron W SR
IBIS WHERE WHEN ___ White Ibis W M(V) ___ Glossy Ibis W M(R)
VULTURES WHERE WHEN ___ Black Vulture S,O Y ___ Turkey Vulture S,O Y
SWANS WHERE WHEN ___ Tundra Swan ML M(R)
GEESE WHERE WHEN ___ Canada Goose W Y$
DUCK/ALLIES WHERE WHEN ___ Wood Duck W SR$ ___ Green-winged Teal W WV ___ American Black Duck W Y ___ Mallard W Y$ ___ Northern Pintail W M ___ Blue-winged Teal W WV ___ Northern Shoveler W M ___ Gadwall WL WV ___ American Wigeon WL MS ___ Canvasback WL MS ___ Ring-necked Duck WL WV ___ Lesser Scaup WL M ___ Bufflehead W WV ___ Hooded Merganser W WV ___ Common Merganser W M ___ Red-breasted Merganser W
EAGLES/HAWKS/ALLIES WHERE WHEN ___ Bald Eagle FM Y$ ___ Golden Eagle S M(R) ___ Northern Harrier O Y ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk S Y ___ Cooper's Hawk S Y ___ Red-shouldered Hawk FM Y$ ___ Broad-winged Hawk FM SR ___ Red-tailed Hawk FM Y$ ___ Merlin S M ___ American Kestrel O,E Y$ ___ Peregrine Falcon S M(R) ___ Osprey W MB ___ Mississippi Kite S (V)
TURKEY/QUAIL/ALLIES WHERE WHEN ___ Wild Turkey FD Y ___ Northern Bobwhite! E Y(R) ___ Ring-necked Pheasant E Y(R)
RAILS/COOTS WHERE WHEN ___ Sora W WV ___ American Coot W SR
PLOVERS/SANDPIPERS WHERE WHEN ___ Killdeer W SR$ ___ Greater Yellowlegs W MB ___ Lesser Yellowlegs W MB ___ Solitary Sandpiper W MB ___ Spotted Sandpiper W SR ___ Least Sandpiper W MB ___ Common Snipe W,FD,E WR ___ American Woodcock W,FD,E Y
GULLS WHERE WHEN ___ Laughing Gull S,WL WV ___ Ring-billed Gull S,WL Y ___ Herring Gull S,WL WV ___ Glaucous Gull S,WL W,M ___ Great Black-backed Gull S,WL W
TERNS WHERE WHEN ___ Caspian Tern S M(R) ___ Common Tern S M(R) ___ Forster's Tern S M(R) ___ Least Tern S M(R)
DOVES WHERE WHEN ___ Rock Dove # Y(R) ___ Mourning Dove # Y$
CUCKOOS WHERE WHEN ___ Black-billed Cuckoo E S(R) ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo E SR
OWLS WHERE WHEN ___ Eastern Screech Owl FM Y$ ___ Great-Horned Owl FC Y$ ___ Barred Owl FM Y$ ___ Short-eared Owl E,O WV(R)
NIGHTJARS WHERE WHEN ___ Common Nighthawk S SR ___ Whip-Poor-Will FM SR ___ Chuck-Will's-Widow FC SR
SWIFT WHERE WHEN ___ Chimney Swift S SR
HUMMINGBIRD WHERE WHEN ___ Ruby-Throated Hummingbird O,E SR
KINGFISHER WHERE WHEN ___ Belted Kingfisher W Y
WOODPECKERS WHERE WHEN ___ Red-headed Woodpecker F WV(R) ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker F Y ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker F WV ___ Downy Woodpecker F Y ___ Hairy Woodpecker F Y ___ Northern Flicker F Y ___ Pileated Woodpecker F Y
FLYCATCHERS WHERE WHEN ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee F,E SR ___ Eastern Phoebe F,E SR ___ Acadian Flycatcher F,E SR ___ Alder Flycatcher W M ___ Willow Flycatcher FM SR%S ___ Least Flycatcher F,E M ___ Great Crested Flycatcher F,E SR ___ Eastern Kingbird O SR$
VIREOS WHERE WHEN ___ Red-eyed Vireo FD,E SR$ ___ White-eyed Vireo FD,E SR$ ___ Solitary Vireo FD MS ___ Yellow-throated Vireo FD,E SR ___ Warbling Vireo FD SR$ ___ Philadelphia Vireo FD,E MB
JAYS/CROWS WHERE WHEN ___ Blue Jay # Y ___ American Crow # Y ___ Fish Crow S WR
LARK WHERE WHEN ___ Horned Lark O W(R)
SWALLOWS WHERE WHEN ___ Purple Martin S,O SR$ ___ Tree Swallow W,O SR$ ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow W,O SR ___ Bank Swallow WV SR ___ Barn Swallow W,O SR ___ Cliff Swallow W,O S(R)
CHICKADEES/TITMICE WHERE WHEN ___ Black-capped Chickadee F W(R) ___ Carolina Chickadee F Y$ ___ Tufted Titmouse F Y$
KINGLETS/GNATCATCHERS WHERE WHEN ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet FM WR ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet E,F WR ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher F,W SR$
NUTHATCHES/CREEPER WHERE WHEN ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch FM WV ___ White-breasted Nuthatch FC Y ___ Brown Creeper FM WV
WRENS WHERE WHEN ___ House Wren E,F SR$ ___ Winter Wren E,FC WV ___ Carolina Wren E,F Y$
THRUSHES WHERE WHEN ___ Eastern Bluebird O,E Y$ ___ American Robin # Y$ ___ Veery F SR ___ Swainson's Thrush F MS ___ Hermit Thrush F WV ___ Wood Thrush F SR
MIMIC THRUSHES WHERE WHEN ___ Gray Catbird E SR ___ Northern Mockingbird # Y ___ Brown Thrasher E SR
WAXWINGS WHERE WHEN ___ Cedar Waxwings E WV
WARBLERS WHERE WHEN ___ Hooded Warbler FD,E SR$ ___ Common Yellowthroat E,W SR$ ___ Ovenbird! F SR$ ___ Prairie Warbler E SR$ ___ American Redstart FD,E,W SR$ ___ Pine Warbler FC SR$ ___ Yellow-throated Warbler FD SR%N ___ Black-throated Green Warbler E SR%S ___ Blackburnian Warbler FD SR%N ___ Northern Parula F,W SR ___ Prothonotary Warbler E SR ___ Black-and-white Warbler E SR ___ Yellow Warbler E,W SR ___ Worm-eating Warbler WW SR ___ Kentucky Warbler FD SR ___ Yellow-breasted Chat E SR ___ Louisiana Waterthrush WW SR ___ Northern Waterthrush W MB ___ Wilson's Warbler E MB(R) ___ Blackpoll Warbler E MS ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler FM MS ___ Cerulean Warbler FD MS ___ Magnolia Warbler E,FC MS ___ Canada Warbler FD,E MS ___ Cape May Warbler E,FC MS ___ Chesnut-sided Warbler E MS ___ Bay-breasted Warbler E MS ___ Palm Warbler O MS ___ Blue-winged Warbler FD,E MS ___ Tennessee Warbler E,FM MS ___ Nashville Warbler E,O MF ___ Connecticut Warbler E,W MF ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler FC WR
TANAGERS WHERE WHEN ___ Summer Tanager E,FD SR$%N ___ Scarlet Tanager E,FM SR
GROSBEAKS/ALLIES WHERE WHEN ___ Northern Cardinal E,FM Y$ ___ Rose-Breasted Grosbeak E,FM MS ___ Blue Grosbeak E SR%N$ ___ Indigo Bunting E,O SR
TOWHEES WHERE WHEN ___ Eastern Towhee E Y$ (formerly Rufous-sided towhee)
SPARROWS WHERE WHEN ___ American Tree Sparrow O,WW WV ___ Chipping Sparrow O SR ___ Field Sparrow O Y ___ Savannah Sparrow O,W W(R) ___ Grasshopper Sparrow O SR ___ Henslow's Sparrow O S(R) ___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow E,W W(R) ___ Fox Sparrow MB WR ___ Vesper Sparrow O SR ___ Song Sparrow E,O Y$ ___ Lincoln's Sparrow O MB(R) ___ Swamp Sparrow W Y ___ White-throated Sparrow E,O WR ___ White-crowned Sparrow E W(R) ___ Dark-eyed Junco E WV (Slate-colored race)
BLACKBIRDS WHERE WHEN ___ Bobolink O MB ___ Red-winged Blackbird W SR$ ___ Eastern Meadowlark O SR ___ Boat-tailed Grackle O Y(R) ___ Common Grackle O Y ___ Brown-headed Cowbird O Y
ORIOLES WHERE WHEN ___ Orchard Oriole E,W SR ___ Baltimore Oriole E,FD SR
FINCHES WHERE WHEN ___ House Ficnh E Y$ ___ Purple Finch E,O W(R) ___ Amercian Goldfinch E,O Y$
WEAVER FINCH WHERE WHEN ___ House Sparrow (aka English Sparrow) O Y(R) (non-native)
STARLING WHERE WHEN ___ European Starling (Non-native) # Y$

NOTES:
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Birding Tips

-- Best time of day: 1st hours of daylight

-- Best time of year: Spring and Fall - migratory birds

-- Best places to bird: Water's edge; hedgerow forest edge

-- What to bring: Binoculars, field guide, note pad

-- Dress for conditions (especially footwear)

-- Keep unnecessary movement/noise at a minimum

-- Participate in organized birdwalks to learn more birds and share experiences

-- Don't forget to look for soaring birds (eagles, hawks, vultures)

-- If birds are agitated by your presence in the spring, keep your distance: you may be near a nest site


For further information contact:
                     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
                     Patuxent Research Refuge
                     230 Bald Eagle Drive
                     Laurel MD 20724-3000

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1996.  Patuxent Research Refuge checklist of 
     birds.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge.  4 pages.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1996.  Patuxent Research Refuge checklist of 
     birds.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge.  4 pages.  Jamestown, ND: 
     Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govpatuxent.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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