Wildlife Watching

A large male (tom) turkey is in a field of tall grass.
Wild turkey at Anacostia Park


Anywhere along the Anacostia River Trail, you might spot some interesting wildlife. Learning to identify plants and animals around you can help heighten your awareness and appreciation of your surroundings no matter where you are.

The Anacostia River and the plants along its banks provide food, water, and shelter for a number of wild animals. Keep an eye out for wild turkeys, fox, white-tailed deer and a variety of birds like ducks, geese, gulls, herons, and birds of prey like bald eagles and osprey.

A male mallard with a green head and grey body is wading in the water.
Mallard duck on the water

Tim Ervin

Birding at Anacostia Park

For beginning birdwatchers, we recommend that you bring a pair of binoculars, a bird identification book, and a note pad and pen to keep track of your observations. The fun part about observing birds and other wildlife is that you can do it anywhere in the world.

Species to watch for:

Spring - This is the best time of year for birding because many migratory birds are passing through the area. Keep a sharp eye out and an ear open for tiny warblers darting actively through treetops and thickets looking for insects to eat.

Summer - Watch for osprey fishing and nesting along the river.

Fall - You might notice Caspian terns and Forster's terns. Although terns might look like gulls at first glance, their habit of flying while looking straight down for fish, and their method of diving after fish will differentiate them from the common ring-billed gull.

Winter - Winter is a great time to spot ducks. Grebes, mergansers, buffleheads, and other ducks gather on open water right here in the Anacostia River!

Last updated: December 27, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1900 Anacostia Drive, S.E.
Washington, DC 20020


202 692-6080

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