Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Birding at the Zoo

Sidebar: A Birder's Almanac

January: Kinglets, brown creepers, winter wrens, and sapsuckers winter at the Zoo. Some wood ducks linger in ponds by the Bird House.

February: Some birds begin to sing, as days lengthen and warm snaps occur.

Mallard. (Ann Batdorf/NZP)

March: Red-shouldered hawks nest between Bird House and the lower valley. Night-heron scouts appear, then disappear.

April: Catbirds, chimney swifts, swallows, and eastern phoebes arrive. Month’s end brings first fledged young birds, even as the first long-distance migrants appear. Black-crowned night-herons nest.

May: Spring migration peaks during the first two weeks. More than 30 warbler species pass through the area; so do cuckoos, scarlet tanagers, rose-breasted grosbeaks, flycatchers, and thrushes.
June: Birdsong and nesting are still in full force.

July: Young birds abound.

August: By mid-month, songbird migration starts; watch for nighthawks by month’s end.

September: Neotropical migrants pass through; hawk migration starts.

October: Migration continues, as a few wintering species appear. Night-herons have gone.

November: Look for hawks, sparrows, and waterfowl on the move.

December: Leaves gone, it’s easier to spot woodpeckers and hawks.


More: "Birding at the Zoo"


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Smithsonian Zoogoer 39(1) 2010. Copyright 2010 Friends of the National Zoo. All rights reserved.