Visitor Center Remodel 2014
Over the next several months there will be new changes coming to the Visitor Center. Presently we are remodeling the bookstore area to give it more of a country theme. Next the exibit area will get all new exhibits. Thank you for your patience and support
Oak Ridge Campground and Chopawamsic Backcountry Closure
Oak Ridge Campground and Chopawamsic Backcountry area will be closed December 1st, 2013 to February 28th, 2014.
Outside firewood is prohibited in Prince William Forest Park, unless it is certified USDA 'bug free' firewood. Dead and downed wood may be collected from designated areas for use while in the park. Help us protect the forest from invasive species!
This little beauty is the gem of our woods. A bright dash of vibrant yellow lights up the forest when a hooded warbler flits by. An olive colored back, and yellow face and belly grace the body of this tiny warbler. But it's the black 'hood' over its head that gives them their common name. The female is a lighter version of the male with a less distinct hood. It can be quite frustrating trying to find a hooded warbler. You may hear his whistling high-pitched song close by, but never see that gorgeous plumage. But with some patience you may catch a glimpse, because "hoodeds' don't constantly dwell in the upper canopy like most other warblers. They can be spotted in the mid canopy, but never sit still for very long.
This bird is actually one of our more common wood warblers. Its 'teacher-teacher-teacher' song is so loud and frequent that it can drown out the softer songs of the other birds. The Ovenbird is often seen low in the leaf canopy, or on the ground walking rather than hopping. It is a soft brown and has a white chest with brown spots. Its head bears a darker rusty colored stripe. You may hear its call so often that by the time a one hour hike is over, you will have learned his song, committing it to memory. Male and female ovenbirds have similar plumage.
The Wood Thrush
Northern Parula Warbler
Found in mostly eastern North America, the Northern Parula is small songbird like to live in the forest. They breed from the bottom near streams, and live at the top of the canopy. You can pick them out by their blueish-gray covering and their olive tint on their back. With a white underside and two white wing bars, the warbler can be identified. The male and female have very similar plumages.
The male songbird is clear to identify in breeding season. With its bright red body and jet black wings, they would be easy to identify on a bird watch. But for the most part, the finch-like songbird tends to stay up to the top of the forest canopy and can be incredibly elusive. The female on the other hand shows a yellowish tint and gray to olive green wings. The males during a nonbreeding season tend to fall back on this olive tint and splotches of red in their plumage. Much like the flycatcher, it hovers over branches and catches its prey. Their song can easily be confused with the American Robin, but listen closely, and it sounds a little rougher around the edges.
Did You Know?
An owl's eyes are fixed in place because their large size provides no room for muscle. To compensate for this, it can turn its head in almost any direction and angle, including the ability to rotate its head nearly 280 degrees. By comparison, people can only turn their heads a mere 90 degrees!