A sign and a picture post stand next to a wooden railing at the edge of the patio, overlooking a forested hill. Behind you is the nature center.

Home for the Summer

The sign's title appears over a view of the forest, a close up of a wood thrush, three inset photos, and a migration map. On the side of the sign frame is an audio handset. Listen to the handset and push the button in the lower left of the sign to hear the call of the wood thrush.

Sign Text in English and Spanish:
"Rock Creek's forest makes an ideal summer home — with food, shelter, and ideal nesting sites — for the wood thrush, a songbird. But climate change and other factors could end this long relationship. Rising temperatures disrupt the seasonal patterns of plants and animals. What will happen in these woods? We need your help to find out. Take photos on the nearby picture post and help us record changes."

In the bottom left corner of the sign, a close-up of a wood thrush appears next to a round button. Push the button to hear the bird's call through the attached handset. The wood thrush is a small bird with cinnamon-brown feathers and brown spots on its cream-colored breast.

"Hard to spot, the reclusive wood thrush is easy to hear. Lift the handset and press this button to hear its ringing, clear call."

Inset Photos and Captions

Three inset photographs appear in a column over the forest view.

An arrow points from a photo of the sun shining through treetops to the woodland canopy in the background forest photo.

"Shaded by the woodland canopy, the forest floor stays moist for insects and fruit eaten by wood thrushes."

A photo shows a wood thrush perching on a nest with three chicks. An arrow points from the wood thrush nest to a sapling in the forest view.

"See the smaller saplings? Wood thrushes nest and raise their young in them."

A photo shows a wood thrush standing among fallen leaves on the ground. An arrow points from the wood thrush to the forest floor.

"Wood thrushes eat insects and other invertebrates in leaf litter. As the climate changes, temperature and moisture changes could mean less food for them."


A map entitled "A Traveling Life" occupies the right section of the sign. The map shows the wood thrush's migratory patterns. They spend November to March in Central America. In October to April, they are on the east coast of Mexico and Texas plus nearby central US states, Florida, and Cuba. From May to September, they live in the eastern half of the United States.

"Wintering in Central America, wood thrushes migrate to this area in May. Cued by changes in light, the migration timing will likely stay the same. But a warming climate could change the forest, reducing this songbird's food supply."