Birds of the Anacostia Watershed

Even with all the environmental problems our river faces we wouldn't be exaggerating when we say that wildlife is actually abundant in the watershed.  And, like we have discussed in a previous article we even have some well known cases of overabundant wildlife!  Birds are without a doubt one of the most charismatic animals and some of the most abundant in the River.  In the Anacostia watershed we have a decent amount of bird species, many of them are nice-looking and the majority are native.  From the American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), a notable species during this time of the year for its Halloween symbolism, to all the raptors, herons, chickadees, warbles, vireos, ducks and turkeys, the lands and waters of the Anacostia watershed have lot to offer for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. 

There are at least 172 species of birds in the entire Anacostia River Watershed, 34 of which are wood-warblers, famous for their herculean migrations to Central and South America given the fact that they are so tiny birds.  Other bird families with many species are ducks, sparrows, raptors, herons, gulls and sandpipers.  All in all there is a total of 44 different bird families which means there are a lot of different shapes, sizes, voices, colors and feathers to explore with a pair of binoculars. 

Here's some common feathered friends we have in the watershed:

A Great Egret (Ardea alba) enjoys a calm Fall morning at a tidal wetland in Bladesnburg Waterfront Park.

A group of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) chill out during high tide after a dive in the River.

This Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) enjoys some of the restored tidal wetlands in the River, and perhaps not so much the presence of the photographer!

Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) and American Robins (Turdus migratorius) take a shower at a seasonal pool at Magruder Park in Hyattsville, MD.

Finally another evidence of how gross invasive plants are, this Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) spitted out a Porcelain berry.

If you want to learn more about birds, we highly recommend The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website, an incomparable online resource on the topic.



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