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Bird Checklists of the United States

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge

small state map showing location

Sussex, New Jersey


225 species of birds call the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge home at various times of the year. During spring and fall migrations, ducks, geese, and shorebirds use the Wallkill River and surrounding wetlands as resting and feeding areas. During the summer, many species of grassland birds nest in wet meadow and grassy field habitats, while other songbirds nest in the wooded swamps and forest. During winter, several hawk and owl species spend the season within the refuge boundary.

The Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1990. Public uses include wildlife observation on trails and the Wallkill River, hunting, fishing, nature photography and environmental education. Please check with the refuge office to find out what uses are currently open, where they are available, and where the best sites are for birdwatching!

This brochure lists bird species that have been identified on the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. Please let us know if you visit the refuge and see any bird species that are not on this list, or notice any other change that should be made to this bird list.

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

s - spring      March - May
S - summer   June - August
F - fall          September - November
W - winter    December - February

* Birds known to nest on or near the refuge
Italics indicate threatened/endangered species

Relative Abundance
Relative abundance indicates how frequently you might see a bird in its favored habitat.

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

GREBES s S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe o - o r
BITTERNS, HERONS AND EGRETS s S F W ___*American Bittern r r r - ___*Least Bittern u u - - ___*Great Blue Heron c c c u ___ Great Egret r r r - ___ Snowy Egret - r r - ___ Cattle Egret - r r - ___*Green Heron c c c - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron r r r r
IBISES AND SPOONBILLS s S F W ___ Glossy Ibis - r r -
NEW WORLD VULTURES s S F W ___ Black Vulture o o o o ___*Turkey Vulture c a c u
SWANS, GEESE AND DUCKS s S F W ___ Snow Goose r - r - ___*Canada Goose a c a c ___ Brant r - r - ___*Mute Swan u u u r ___*Wood Duck c c c o ___ Gadwall r - r r ___ American Wigeon u - u u ___*American Black Duck c o c c ___*Mallard c c c c ___ Blue-winged Teal u r u - ___ Northern Shoveler r - r - ___ Northern Pintail u - u - ___ Green-winged Teal c r c r ___ Ring-necked Duck u - u r ___ Bufflehead r - r r ___ Common Goldeneye r - - r ___*Hooded Merganser u o c o ___*Common Merganser u o u u ___ Ruddy Duck r - r -
OSPREY, KITES, HAWKS AND EAGLES s S F W ___ Osprey u o o - ___ Bald Eagle r r r r ___ Northern Harrier u c c c ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk u r c o ___*Cooper's Hawk u o c o ___ Northern Goshawk r - r r ___ Red-shouldered Hawk r r u r ___*Broad-winged Hawk u r c - ___*Red-tailed Hawk c c c c ___ Rough-legged Hawk u - o u ___ Golden Eagle - - r r
FALCONS AND CARACARAS s S F W ___*American Kestrel c c c o ___ Merlin - - r r ___ Peregrine Falcon - - r -
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS s S F W ___*Ring-necked Pheasant u u u u ___*Ruffed Grouse o u o o ___*Wild Turkey c c c c ___ Northern Bobwhite r o o r
RAILS s S F W ___*King Rail r r r - ___*Virginia Rail c u u - ___*Sora c u c - ___*Common Moorhen u u r - ___ American Coot r - r r
PLOVERS s S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover r r u - ___ American Golden-Plover - r r - ___ Semipalmated Plover r r u - ___*Killdeer c c c r
SANDPIPERS AND PHALAROPES s S F W ___ Greater Yellowlegs u - u - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs c - u - ___ Solitary Sandpiper c r c - ___*Spotted Sandpiper u c u - ___*Upland Sandpiper r r r - ___ Hudsonian Godwit - r - - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper u r u - ___ Least Sandpiper u r u - ___ Baird's Sandpiper - r r - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper r r r - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper - r r - ___ Common Snipe c - c r ___*American Woodcock c u c r
SKUAS, JAEGERS, GULLS AND TERNS s S F W ___ Ring-billed Gull o - o o ___ Herring Gull o - o o ___ Great Black-backed Gull o - o o
PIGEONS AND DOVES s S F W ___*Rock Dove c c c c ___*Mourning Dove c a c c
CUCKOOS AND ANIS s S F W ___*Black-billed Cuckoo u u u - ___*Yellow-billed Cuckoo u u u -
BARN OWLS s S F W ___ Barn Owl r r r r
TYPICAL OWLS s S F W ___*Eastern Screech-Owl c c u c ___*Great Horned Owl u u u u ___ Snowy Owl - - - r ___*Barred Owl c c c u ___ Long-eared Owl r r r u ___ Short-eared Owl r r r u ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl r - r r
NIGHTJARS s S F W ___*Common Nighthawk o r c - ___ Whip-poor-will o o o -
SWIFTS s S F W ___*Chimney Swift u u c -
HUMMINGBIRDS s S F W ___*Ruby-throated Hummingbird u u u -
KINGFISHERS s S F W ___*Belted Kingfisher c c u u
WOODPECKERS s S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker r r r r ___*Red-bellied Woodpecker c c c c ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker o - o r ___*Downy Woodpecker c c c c ___*Hairy Woodpecker c u c u ___*Northern Flicker c c c u ___*Pileated Woodpecker u u u u
TYRANT FLYCATCHERS s S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher r r r - ___*Eastern Wood-Pewee c c c - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher r r r - ___ Acadian Flycatcher o r u - ___*Alder Flycatcher r r r - ___*Willow Flycatcher c c c - ___*Least Flycatcher c u u - ___*Eastern Phoebe c c c r ___*Great Crested Flycatcher c c u - ___ Western Kingbird - - r - ___*Eastern Kingbird c c u -
SHRIKES s S F W ___ Northern Shrike - - - r
VIREOS s S F W ___*White-eyed Vireo o o o - ___*Yellow-throated Vireo u u u - ___ Blue-headed Vireo u - u - ___*Warbling Vireo c c u - ___ Philadelphia Vireo r - r - ___*Red-eyed Vireo c c c -
CROWS, JAYS AND MAGPIES s S F W ___*Blue Jay c c c c ___*American Crow c c a a ___ Fish Crow r r r r
LARKS s S F W ___ Horned Lark c u c c
SWALLOWS s S F W ___*Purple Martin u u u - ___*Tree Swallow c a c - ___*Northern Rough-winged Swallow c u c - ___*Bank Swallow c u c - ___*Cliff Swallow o o o - ___*Barn Swallow c c c -
TITMICE AND CHICKADEES s S F W ___*Black-capped Chickadee c c c c ___*Tufted Titmouse c c c c
NUTHATCHES s S F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch u - u u ___*White-breasted Nuthatch c c c c
CREEPERS s S F W ___*Brown Creeper u u u u
WRENS s S F W ___*Carolina Wren c c c u ___*House Wren c c c r ___ Winter Wren r r o o ___*Sedge Wren r r r - ___*Marsh Wren u c u r
KINGLETS s S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet c - c u ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet c - c r
OLD WORLD WARBLERS s S F W ___*Blue-gray Gnatcatcher c u u -
THRUSHES s S F W ___*Eastern Bluebird c c c u ___*Veery c c c - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush o - o - ___ Swainson's Thrush u - u - ___ Hermit Thrush c - c r ___*Wood Thrush c c c - ___*American Robin c a a u
MIMIC THRUSHES s S F W ___*Gray Catbird c a c r ___*Northern Mockingbird c c c c ___*Brown Thrasher o o u r
STARLINGS s S F W ___*European Starling a a a a
WAGTAILS AND PIPITS s S F W ___ American Pipit u - r r
WAXWINGS s S F W ___*Cedar Waxwing c c c u
WOOD WARBLERS s S F W ___*Blue-winged Warbler u u c - ___*Golden-winged Warbler o r r - ___ Tennessee Warbler c - u - ___ Nashville Warbler u - u - ___ Northern Parula u - u - ___*Yellow Warbler c a u - ___*Chestnut-sided Warbler c u u - ___ Magnolia Warbler c - u - ___ Cape May Warbler u - u - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler u - u - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c - c u ___ Black-throated Green Warbler c - u - ___ Blackburnian Warbler u r u - ___ Pine Warbler u - u - ___*Prairie Warbler c o c - ___ Palm Warbler c - c r ___ Bay-breasted Warbler u - u - ___ Blackpoll Warbler c - u - ___*Cerulean Warbler u o u - ___*Black-and-white Warbler c u c - ___*American Redstart c c c - ___*Prothonotary Warbler r r r - ___*Worm-eating Warbler r u r - ___*Ovenbird c c c - ___*Northern Waterthrush c c u - ___*Louisiana Waterthrush u u u - ___*Kentucky Warbler r r - - ___ Mourning Warbler r r r - ___*Common Yellowthroat c a c r ___*Hooded Warbler u r u - ___ Wilson's Warbler o - r - ___*Canada Warbler u o u - ___*Yellow-breasted Chat r r r -
TANAGERS s S F W ___*Scarlet Tanager u c u -
SPARROWS AND TOWHEES s S F W ___*Eastern Towhee u u u o ___ American Tree Sparrow u r c a ___*Chipping Sparrow c c c r ___*Field Sparrow c u c o ___ Vesper Sparrow o r r - ___*Savannah Sparrow u u c u ___*Grasshopper Sparrow u u c - ___ Henslow's Sparrow r r r - ___ Fox Sparrow u - u r ___*Song Sparrow a a a a ___ Lincoln's Sparrow r - o - ___*Swamp Sparrow c c c u ___ White-throated Sparrow c - a c ___ White-crowned Sparrow u - u o ___ Dark-eyed Junco c - c c ___ Lapland Longspur - - - r ___ Snow Bunting r - o u
CARDINALS, GROSBEAKS AND ALLIES s S F W ___*Northern Cardinal c c c c ___*Rose-breasted Grosbeak c c u - ___*Blue Grosbeak r r - - ___*Indigo Bunting c a u - ___ Dickcissel - - - r
BLACKBIRDS AND ORIOLES s S F W ___*Bobolink c c a - ___*Red-winged Blackbird a a c o ___*Eastern Meadowlark c u u u ___ Rusty Blackbird c r c o ___*Common Grackle c a c u ___*Brown-headed Cowbird c c u r ___*Orchard Oriole u u - - ___*Baltimore Oriole c c - r
FINCHES s S F W ___*Purple Finch u r u r ___*House Finch c c c c ___ Red Crossbill - - - r ___ Common Redpoll r - r r ___ Pine Siskin r - r r ___*American Goldfinch c a c c ___ Evening Grosbeak r - r r
OLD WORLD SPARROWS s S F W ___*House Sparrow c c c a

Wallkill River is one of more than 520 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System managed 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, fish and wildlife research, technical assistance and the conservation and protection of migratory birds, certain marine mammals and threatened and endangered species.

For more information contact:
              Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge
              1547 Route 565
              Sussex, NJ 07461
              Telephone: 973/702 7266

              Hearing impaired visitors may call the New Jersey Relay Center at 
              1 800/852 7899 TDD
              1 800/852 7897 voice.
              Email: FW5RW_WRNWR@FWS.GOV
              U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
              1 800/344 WILD

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  September 2000.  Wallkill River National 
     Wildlife Refuge, Birds.  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  September 2000.  Wallkill River National 
     Wildlife Refuge, Birds.  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     (Version 10JUL2001).

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