Nature and Science
Wild turkey at Catoctin Mountain Park

(photo by William Smith)

The hardwood forest and stream environment provides excellent habitat for many species of birds. Over 200 species are thought to occur in the park during some part of the year, including the wild turkey, which started to reoccupy its old habitat in the 1960's. The pileated woodpecker is also abundant in the park due to the vast expanse of hardwood forest that this bird requires to live.

Catoctin Mountain Park Avian Inventory (doc 524kb)

Regional Bird Monitoring

Since 2007, the National Capital Region Network (NCRN) Inventory & Monitoring program has monitored birds at approximately 385 forest plots throughout the region. This program represents one of the many ways national parks use science to manage our national treasures.

Top 10 Most Common Birds at Catoctin Mountain Park

  1. Red-eyed Vireo
  2. Scarlet Tanager
  3. Wood Thrush
  4. White-breasted Nuthatch
  5. American Robin
  6. Eastern Wood-Pewee
  7. Downy Woodpecker
  8. Blue Jay
  9. Eastern Tufted Titmouse
  10. Red-bellied Woodpecker

What’s impressive about this top ten list is that it includes a species of conservation concern. The Wood Thrush is designated as a “watchlist species” by the Partners in Flight program. The fact that it makes Catoctin’s top ten list means that this vulnerable species is finding valuable habitat at Catoctin.

Common Birds in Catoctin Mountain Park

The following list does not represent all of the birds found in the park: only those reported by the NCRN Inventory & Monitoring. Birdwatchers are likely to see many other species depending on migration patterns.

From 2007 to 2010, the number of different species detected each year at Catoctin ranged from 41 to 59. Catoctin is home to 13 species of conservation concern, marked below with asterisks.

Acadian Flycatcher** Broad-winged Hawk Downy Woodpecker House Wren Red-tailed Hawk
American Crow Brown Creeper Eastern Kingbird Indigo Bunting** Ruby-throated Hummingbird
American Goldfinch Brown-headed Cowbird Eastern Phoebe Kentucky Warbler* Scarlet Tanager
American Redstart Carolina Wren* Eastern Towhee** Louisiana Waterthrush* Summer Tanager
American Robin Cedar Waxwing Eastern Tufted Titmouse Mourning Dove Turkey Vulture
Baltimore Oriole Cerulean Warbler* Eastern Wood-Pewee Northern Cardinal Unidentified Chickadee+
Black-and-white Warbler Chestnut-sided Warbler European Starling Northern Flicker Veery
Black-billed Cuckoo Chimney Swift Gray Catbird Northern Parula White-breasted Nuthatch
Blackpoll Warbler Chipping Sparrow Gray-cheeked Thrush Ovenbird Wood Thrush*
Black-throated Blue Warbler Common Grackle Great Crested Flycatcher Pileated Woodpecker Worm-eating Warbler*
Blue Jay Common Raven Hairy Woodpecker Pine Warbler* Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Common Yellowthroat Hermit Thrush Red-bellied Woodpecker** Yellow-throated Vireo**
Blue-headed Vireo Cooper’s Hawk Hooded Warbler** Red-eyed Vireo

*Partners in Flight Watchlist species are vulnerable at a continental scale

**Stewardship Species have most of their global population within the region.

+Detections of Carolina and Blackcapped Chickadee are combined


Last updated: April 27, 2018

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