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Bird Checklists of the United States

Birds of the Watchung Reservation

Mountainside, New Jersey


This list contains 208 species seen in the Watchung Reservation since 1940. New or rare sightings should be reported to the Visitor Center personnel.

Bird Check List

b = breeding  r = resident
m = migrant   w = wintering
* = rare      t = transient

LOONS ___ Common Loon.......................m
GREBES ___ Pied-billed Grebe.................m
HERONS ___ Great Blue Heron..................t ___ Green Heron.......................b ___ Common Egret......................m ___ Snowy Egret.......................m ___ Black-crowned Night Heron.........m ___ American Bittern..................m
IBISES ___ Glossy Ibis.......................*
GEESE ___ Canada Goose......................r ___ Brant.............................m ___ Snow Goose........................m
DUCKS ___ Mallard...........................r ___ Black Duck........................t ___ Wood Duck.........................b ___ Ring-necked Duck..................* ___ Hooded Merganser..................* ___ Common Merganser..................*
VULTURES ___ Turkey Vulture....................m
HAWKS ___ Goshawk...........................m ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk................r ___ Cooper's Hawk.....................m ___ Red-tailed Hawk...................r ___ Red-shouldered Hawk...............m ___ Broad-winged Hawk.................m ___ Rough-legged Hawk.................m ___ Golden Eagle......................m ___ Bald Eagle........................m ___ Northern Harrier..................m
OSPREY ___ Osprey............................m
FALCONS ___ Peregrine Falcon..................* ___ Merlin............................* ___ American Kestrel..................r
GROUSE ___ Ruffed Grouse.....................*
QUAIL & PHEASANTS ___ Bobwhite..........................* ___ Ring-necked Pheasant..............*
GALLINULES ___ Common Gallinule..................*
PLOVERS ___ Killdeer..........................b
SANDPIPERS ___ American Woodcock.................b ___ Common Snipe......................b ___ Spotted Sandpiper.................b ___ Solitary Sandpiper................m ___ Pectoral Sandpiper................* ___ Least Sandpiper...................* ___ Greater Yellowlegs................m ___ Lesser Yelllowlegs................m
GULLS ___ Great Black-backed Gull...........w ___ Herring Gull......................w ___ Ring-billed.......................w
DOVES ___ Rock Dove.........................r ___ Mourning Dove.....................r
CUCKOOS ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo..............b ___ Black-billed Cuckoo...............m
OWLS ___ Barn Owl..........................t ___ Screech Owl.......................r ___ Great Horned Owl..................r ___ Snowy Owl.........................* ___ Barred Owl........................* ___ Long-eared Owl....................w ___ Short-eared Owl...................* ___ Saw-whet Owl......................w
GOATSUCKERS ___ Whip-poor-will....................* ___ Common Nighthawk..................b
SWIFTS ___ Chimney Swift.....................b
HUMMINGBIRDS ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird.........b
KINGFISHERS ___ Belted Kingfisher.................b
WOODPECKERS ___ Yellow-shafted Flicker............b ___ Pileated Woodpecker...............r ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker............r ___ Red-headed Woodpecker.............* ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker..........m ___ Hairy Woodpecker..................r ___ Downy Woodpecker..................r
FLYCATCHERS ___ Eastern Kingbird..................b ___ Great Crested Flycatcher..........b ___ Eastern Phoebe....................b ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.........m ___ Acadian Flycatcher................b ___ Alder Flycatcher..................b ___ Least Flycatcher..................b ___ Eastern Wood Pewee................b ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher............*
WOOD WARBLERS ___ Black & White Warbler.............b ___ Prothonotary Warbler..............b ___ Worm-eating Warbler...............b ___ Golden-winged Warbler.............* ___ Blue-winged Warbler...............b ___ Lawrence's Warbler................* ___ Brewster's Warbler................* ___ Tennessee Warbler.................m ___ Orange-crowned Warbler............* ___ Nashville Warbler.................m ___ Parula Warbler....................m ___ Yellow Warbler....................b ___ Magnolia Warbler..................m ___ Cape May Warbler..................m ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler.......m ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler.............m ___ Black-throated Green Warbler......m ___ Cerulean Warbler..................* ___ Blackburnian Warbler..............m ___ Yellow-throated Warbler...........* ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler............m ___ Bay-breasted Warbler..............m ___ Blackpoll Warbler.................m ___ Pine Warbler......................m ___ Prairie Warbler...................b ___ Palm Warbler......................m ___ Ovenbird..........................b ___ Northern Waterthrush..............m ___ Louisiana Waterthrush.............b ___ Kentucky Warbler..................m ___ Connecticut Warbler...............m ___ Mourning Warbler..................m ___ Yellowthroat......................b ___ Yellow-breasted Chat..............b ___ Hooded Warbler....................m ___ Wilson's Warbler..................m ___ Canada Warbler....................m ___ American Redstart.................b
WEAVER FINCHES ___ House Sparrow.....................r
MEADOWLARKS, BLACKBIRDS, & ORIOLES ___ Bobolink..........................m ___ Eastern Meadowlark................b ___ Red-winged Blackbird..............b ___ Orchard Oriole....................b ___ Northern Oriole...................b ___ Rusty Blackbird...................m ___ Common Grackle....................b ___ Brown-headed Cowbird..............b
TANAGERS ___ Scarlet Tanager...................b ___ Summer Tanager....................*
LARKS ___ Horned Lark.......................w
SWALLOWS ___ Tree Swallow......................b ___ Bank Swallow......................m ___ Rough-winged Swallow..............m ___ Barn Swallow......................b ___ Cliff Swallow.....................m ___ Purple Martin.....................b
JAYS & CROWS ___ Blue Jay..........................r ___ Common Crow.......................r ___ Fish Crow.........................*
TITMICE ___ Black-capped Chickadee............r ___ Tufted Titmouse...................r
NUTHATCHES ___ White-breasted Nuthatch...........r ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch.............w
CREEPERS ___ Brown Creeper.....................r
WRENS ___ House Wren........................b ___ Winter Wren.......................w ___ Carolina Wren.....................r
MOCKINGBIRDS & THRASHERS ___ Mockingbird.......................r ___ Gray Catbird......................b ___ Brown Trasher.....................b
THRUSHES ___ Robin.............................b ___ Wood Thrush.......................b ___ Hermit Thrush.....................b ___ Swainson's Thrush.................m ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush...............m ___ Veery.............................b ___ Eastern Bluebird..................*
GNATCATCHERS & KINGETS ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.............b ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet............w ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet..............w
PIPITS ___ Water Pipit.......................*
WAXWINGS ___ Cedar Waxwing.....................r
SHRIKES ___ Northern Shrike...................* ___ Loggerhead Shrike.................*
STARLINGS ___ Starling..........................r
VIREOS ___ White-eyed Vireo..................b ___ Yellow-throated Vireo.............b ___ Solitary Vireo....................m ___ Red-eyed Vireo....................b ___ Philadelphia Vireo................m ___ Warbling Vireo....................b
GROSBEAKS, FINCHES, SPARROWS, & BUNTINGS ___ Cardinal..........................r ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak............b ___ Blue Grosbeak.....................* ___ Indigo Bunting....................b ___ Dickcissel........................* ___ Evening Grosbeak..................w ___ Purple Finch......................w ___ House Finch.......................r ___ Pine Grosbeak.....................* ___ Hoary Redpoll.....................* ___ Common Redpoll....................w ___ Pine Siskin.......................w ___ American Goldfinch................r ___ Red Crossbill.....................* ___ White-winged Crossbill............* ___ Rufous-sided Towhee...............b ___ Savannah Sparrow..................m ___ Grasshoppper Sparrow..............* ___ Vesper Sparrow....................b ___ Lark Sparrow......................* ___ Dark-eyed Junco...................w ___ Tree Sparrow......................w ___ Chipping Sparrow..................b ___ Clay-colored Sparrow..............* ___ Field Sparrow.....................b ___ White-crowned Sparrow.............m ___ White-throated Sparrow............w ___ Fox Sparrow.......................w ___ Lincoln's Sparrow.................* ___ Swamp Sparrow.....................b ___ Song Sparrow......................r ___ Snow Bunting......................W
The Watchung Reservation is a 2000-acre wooded tract situated on the ridges and valley between the first and second Watchung mountains. The size of the reserve, it's location along the Atlantic migratory route, and its habitat diversity account for the large number of bird species found here. Some of the habitats and good birding spots in the Reservation include:
  1. dry ridge tops characterized by chestnut oak
  2. north facing slopes covered with hemocks
  3. mixed oak hardwood forest
  4. ravines dominated by tulip trees
  5. flooded plain along the blue brook
  6. Seeley's Pond and Surprise Lake
  7. old fields along Glenside Ave.
  8. mowed lawn with scattered trees in the Loop Area
  9. the nursery adjacent to Trailside
  10. swampy areas of pin oak, red maple, and ash
  11. tower area for migratory raptors
  12. C.C.C. Conifer plantings
  13. springs

Twenty miles of foot trails including a ten-mile circuit have been established. Trail maps, a bird sighting list and additional information are available at the Visitor Center. Outside this building is a Winter feeding station. Train -side's museum contains exhibits of native birds, their nests and eggs.


Trailside Nature & Science Center Coles Ave. & New Providence Road Mountainside, NJ 07092 201-232-3930 County of Union Department of Parks & Recreation

This resource is based on the following source:
Trailside Nature and Science Center.  No date.  Birds of Watchung Reservation, 
     Mountainside, New Jersey. National Park Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
Trailside Nature and Science Center.  No date.  Birds of Watchung Reservation, 
     Mountainside, New Jersey. National Park Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govwatch.htm  
     (Version 02DEC99)

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