Recent Sightings

Recent Sightings
Species Cards

Learn all about the local species flying around this season!

240+ Species Observed

More than 2,500 checklists, and many regular eBird contributors. Contribute to our eBird list next time you're birding here.

Common Birds by Habitat

Pond and Stream Habitat

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)This common summer resident is likely to be seen nesting in Nelson and Red Maple Ponds. This swan species is an aggressive and invasive European fowl, which is best viewed from afar. Unfortunately, the presence of Mute Swans discourage native birds from nesting and feeding in certain areas.

Mallard (Anas platyhynchos) – These easily recognizable ducks can be seen year-round at the Sanctuary. They are sexually dimorphic, meaning that the males sport bright green feathers on their heads, while the female is a mottled brown color. They can be seen floating in red Maple Pond, while dabbling for food.

Green Heron (Butorides virescens) – These herons, despite their relatively short neck are excellent fishers. They are easily missed and often blend in with the vegetation along the edges of Red Maple Pond.

Great Egret (Area alba) –  A frequent summer visitor to NBS ponds, they can found atop rocks or wading at the edge of still water, patiently hunting for small fish and amphibians. Look for its white plumage, characteristic long neck, yellow bill, and black legs.

Woodland Habitat

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) – A very small hawk of only 12″ long, they can be found in the woods during warmer months. They have short, rounded wings, which help them to dart through tree branches in pursuit of their next meal. Look for their long, striped tails. Near the woods, “Sharpies” can be found hanging around active bird feeders.

Black-capped Chickadee (Parus atricapillus) – Common year-round feeder birds, Chickadees often display an amusing behavior of hanging upside-down from branches or feeders. Inquisitive birds, they can be detected by their well-known “chick-a-dee-dee-dee-call.”

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) – An enthusiastic singer, you can catch sight of them as you hike through the Sanctuary in the summer. This small gray bird usually chooses easily seen perches in the mid-story area of the forest. Catbirds are named for their cat-like “meow” call.

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) – These tiny woodpeckers forage for insects beneath tree bark and are an easily spotted year-round resident at the Sanctuary. In the winter, they often frequent suet feeders. Spring is a great time to listen for “drumming” woodpeckers as they defend their territory and excavate tree cavity nests.

Eastern Towhee (Pilpilo erythrophthalmus) – Also known as the “Rufus-sided Towhee,” this bird is found in the lower level of brushy forested areas. If you hear scratching and the rustling of dead leaves alongside wooded trails in the spring, it may be a foraging Eastern Towhee. When startled, this bird will often fly up to a higher vantage point to observe you.

Field Habitat

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoenieceus) – This bird migrates back to the Sanctuary before the females in order to establish their nesting territory. Once the females return, males will defend several mates. If the Red-winged Blackbird feels threatened by another male, it will flash its red and yellow shoulders at will from beneath its black feathers.

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) – These delicate birds are the primary residents of our the birdhouses placed within our fields in the spring. They can bee seen soaring above the fields as they scoop up flying insects. Despite their quick and agile flight, they are easily recognized by their bright white undersides and dark blue-green backs.

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) –  A member of the blackbird family, Bobolinks are found among the birdhouses in our fields during the spring. The striking black, white, and yellow birds can also be seen feeding on insects in tall grasses.

Norther Harrier (Circus cyaneus) – These large hawks inhabit our fields and can be observed flying low over open areas. When viewed through binoculars or a scope, an owl-like facial disk is visible.

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) – A well-known bright yellow and black bird, Goldfinches can be attracted to feeders offering thistle seeds, and are sometimes called “field Canaries.” These year-round residents sport dull brown plumage with the same characteristic black wing bars in the winter. Be sure to look for their slow, undulating flight as they emerge from field grasses.

Join us for a free Guided Bird Walk

Count up as many bird species as you can, from soaring Red-tailed hawks to tiny hovering Hummingbirds. Together with an ornithological guide, you will learn how to identify common year-round residents and seasonal migrants. Birders of all ages and skill levels are welcome!

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